TalkAwhile - The Folk Corporation Forum

Artists => Fairport Convention => Topic started by: Curt on April 01, 2008, 09:18:37 PM



Title: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Curt on April 01, 2008, 09:18:37 PM
Folk historians only - 'it don't matter answers' not appreciated!

I can't work it out - the earliest manuscripts are apparently border (which is not saying much as pre-17th century material was often transferred in manuscript rather than in print).  This implies the Northeast of England, Southeast of Scotland, but its earliest 17th century publications very much show it as a popular song in London.  

The events take place in Bucklesfordbury - the only place I can track down with a similar name just so happens to be where I lived as a teen - a a godforsaken street in Hitchin, Herts.

Confused! Help?


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 02, 2008, 11:54:18 AM

Folk historians only - 'it don't matter answers' not appreciated!

I can't work it out - the earliest manuscripts are apparently border (which is not saying much as pre-17th century material was often transferred in manuscript rather than in print).  This implies the Northeast of England, Southeast of Scotland, but its earliest 17th century publications very much show it as a popular song in London.  

The events take place in Bucklesfordbury - the only place I can track down with a similar name just so happens to be where I lived as a teen - a a godforsaken street in Hitchin, Herts.

Confused! Help?

Are you suggesting the events happened in Hitchin? Because I don't live far from Hitchin, in fact I go to a Folk club there.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Curt on April 02, 2008, 12:49:31 PM
I don't think it is in Hitchin as Bucklersbury is the street off the market square going to the old monastry (although this was where a ford was pre-reformation) - Whereas Musgrave/Matty seems to be rutting with Lady Barnard in her arbour in the country.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: irishenglish on April 02, 2008, 12:53:51 PM
No solid answer I believe. In my Penguin Book Of Folk Ballads, it mentions " a stanza from the ballad is quoted in Beaumont & Fletcher's Knight Of The Burning Pestle-1611," but according to Penguin, the oldest copy preserved, the text of which Penguin used in this book dates from 1658. The elements of Matty Groves are all there of course, but it is a very different version, and this is the version I have that mentions Bucklesfordbury. I can't find it right now, but somewhere I know I have evidence of it being far, far older than that, and someone, perhaps AL Lloyd actually put it as a transplanted ballad from Eastern Europe. Obviously if that was the case, it was heavily "anglicized" into the variants we know today. If I find it I will repost.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: davidmjs on April 02, 2008, 12:57:16 PM
I'm sure everybody concerned has already seen this, but it seems like quite a good summary of the different elements...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matty_Groves



Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: AndyCarter on April 02, 2008, 04:44:26 PM
If the lady in the original version is Lady Barnard she might well have lived in Barnard's Castle which is in Teesdale, Co. Durham which ties in with the Border Ballad origin.

I think the characters and placenames in most old ballads were probably changing all the time though and what happened to be in the song at the time is was collected doesn't always provide a clue to the original. For example, I remember reading somewhere that Lord Bateman was actually based on an older song about the Gilbert A' Becket (Thomas' Dad) who apparently came back from the crusades with a Saracen or Turkish wife. The bits about Lord Bateman and Northumberland being added much later.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 02, 2008, 04:53:28 PM

If the lady in the original version is Lady Barnard she might well have lived in Barnard's Castle which is in Teesdale, Co. Durham which ties in with the Border Ballad origin.

I think the characters and placenames in most old ballads were probably changing all the time though and what happened to be in the song at the time is was collected doesn't always provide a clue to the original. For example, I remember reading somewhere that Lord Bateman was actually based on an older song about the Gilbert A' Becket (Thomas' Dad) who apparently came back from the crusades with a Saracen or Turkish wife. The bits about Lord Bateman and Northumberland being added much later.

I can argue that point. I'm not saying it's wrong, because the word 'Barnard' comes into it. But there are many names that lord and lady barnard have been mistaken as. There's Donald, Arnel, Arnold, and of Course Barnard.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Doc Mahone (Dave) on April 02, 2008, 07:26:11 PM

If the lady in the original version is Lady Barnard she might well have lived in Barnard's Castle which is in Teesdale, Co. Durham which ties in with the Border Ballad origin.

I think the characters and placenames in most old ballads were probably changing all the time though and what happened to be in the song at the time is was collected doesn't always provide a clue to the original. For example, I remember reading somewhere that Lord Bateman was actually based on an older song about the Gilbert A' Becket (Thomas' Dad) who apparently came back from the crusades with a Saracen or Turkish wife. The bits about Lord Bateman and Northumberland being added much later.


As "Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard" seems to be one of the most commonly found titles of this ballad (e.g. No.81 in the Child collection) and there is a place called Little Musgrave in the Eden valley near Appleby, not too far from Teesdale and Barnard Castle, this area must at least be a strong candidate methinks.

And all the best things come from up North....... ;)     (runs for cover)


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Tim Fletcher on April 02, 2008, 09:42:54 PM
Just to muddy the waters a bit more - Martin Simpson claimed (and I have no reason to doubt him) that Matty Groves as done by FC was collected in the US (North Carolina?).  I agree that the origin is from the north (i.e. latitudes above Watford) as a study of the versions here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch081.htm show. I do know a ballad expert so I may enquire of him and see what answer I get.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 02, 2008, 09:46:20 PM

Just to muddy the waters a bit more - Martin Simpson claimed (and I have no reason to doubt him) that Matty Groves as done by FC was collected in the US (North Carolina?).  I agree that the origin is from the north (i.e. latitudes above Watford) as a study of the versions here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch081.htm show. I do know a ballad expert so I may enquire of him and see what answer I get.

I'm finding all this really interesting! :o :o
I've never actually thought about where it might of taken place.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Jim on April 02, 2008, 11:27:47 PM
Barnard castle, they have a cockwork swan you know, nice gaff

[attachment deleted by admin]


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Anji on April 03, 2008, 12:20:12 AM


Just to muddy the waters a bit more - Martin Simpson claimed (and I have no reason to doubt him) that Matty Groves as done by FC was collected in the US (North Carolina?).  I agree that the origin is from the north (i.e. latitudes above Watford) as a study of the versions here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch081.htm show. I do know a ballad expert so I may enquire of him and see what answer I get.

I'm finding all this really interesting! :o :o
I've never actually thought about where it might of taken place.


.......or even "might have" taken place...............................  


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Curt on April 03, 2008, 12:28:50 AM
Now I agree that the ballad is probably border, but I've read those ballad variants that Tim posted before - to say they show the tune comes from the north is to confuse the fact that they were collected by 19th and 20th century collectors in the north with the origins of the song.  This is a fundamental historical mistake as a song may originate somewhere else 200 years before but only survive in a more 'traditional' area centuries later when a folklorist comes and collects it.  The classic example of this is The Maid of Tottenham, a bawdy song from Civil War London that becomes an Irish tune called the Ups and Downs by the 19th century.  

The historical evidence is that Lady Barnard ballad was published first in London - a fragment in The Knight of the Burning Pestle in 1613, which indicates it was known to theatre goers as a popular ballad and then as part of a Royalist propaganda book during the Protectorate of Richard Cromwell.  These 'drollery' books combined bawdy tales with anti Republican songs as a print attack.  

Its also interesting to note the reference to 'Our Lady's Grace' in the first verse: reference to the Virgin Mary was not part of the Calvinism of the post Reformation Churches of England or Scotland.  So we have either a Catholic survival (remember only 2% of the population were Catholics in the 17th century and lived in constant fear of oppression) or the Royalists were trying to wind up the Godly Parliamentarians (something the Drollery books that the original publication appears in consciously set out to do)      

As far as I can tell Matty Groves is a Scottish variant of Lady Barnard.  The FC version is to the tune of the Appalachian folk song Shady Grove as the beautiful Jean Ritchie (who's family preserved a version of Lady Barnard almost exactly the same as the 1658 one) - as demonstrated in this early 60s clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8wR4GZGnZE


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Jan_ on April 03, 2008, 12:42:03 AM
Barnard Castle is associated with the Balliol family.  It was named after Bernard de Baliol who was responsible for it being built.  He was the son of Guy de Balliol who came over with William the Conqueror.  There was a Bernard de Balliol II but neither Bernard murdered his wife as far as I can tell.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Waterloo Wonderer on April 03, 2008, 10:12:52 AM
Don't know from where it originates but would be interested to see the original lyric and by how much the story varies from this in the modern interpretations.

I suppose this may never be possible but a good story is a good story whether it a report of something that actually happened or was invented by someone creative at the time.

It may have been written in the south and made to appear to have an origin in the North/Borders to add to the intrigue and, dare I say it, the romance of the ballad. Language and stories have been manipulated for millenia.

I know this doesn't add anything to the Where it is set? discussion but were stories / songs such as this the soap operas of their day?


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 03, 2008, 10:38:27 AM
I take it the lyrics 'How do you like my curtains, that I bought in Ikea last week?' weren't in the original song ;D


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: PaulT on April 03, 2008, 11:07:45 AM
No, I don't think there's a Scandinavian link.  Other than Lego.
 ;)






Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 03, 2008, 11:14:00 AM

No, I don't think there's a Scandinavian link.  Other than Lego.
 ;)






Oh yes, of course.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Jim on April 03, 2008, 11:48:57 AM

I take it the lyrics 'How do you like my curtains, that I bought in Ikea last week?' weren't in the original song ;D


no they wernt, and you know fine well that the original lyrics had "the sales" where "ikea" goes


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Curt on April 03, 2008, 11:52:47 AM
Ballads were the soap operas of the day - apparently you could also pay some itinerant musicians to sing them to you in most London pubs:

- Pepys collected 5 volumes of them, some too pornographic for these pages:

http://emc.english.ucsb.edu/ballad_project/



Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Waterloo Wonderer on April 03, 2008, 12:05:03 PM
I take it the lyrics 'How do you like my curtains, that I bought in Ikea last week?' weren't in the original song ;D
no they wernt, and you know fine well that the original lyrics had "the sales" where "ikea" goes

People have been hurt and died/been murdered at Ikea openings (http://www.crowddynamics.com/Disasters/Ikea%207.htm) perhaps in time there will be songs about it that are absorbed into the folk idiom.

Show of Hands song The Galway Farmer by Steve Knighley is a modern example of a song that could pass into folklore as a true story.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: diddlysquat on April 03, 2008, 12:23:20 PM

Barnard castle, they have a cockwork swan you know, nice gaff


The clockwork ( and it is clockwork rather than cockwork!!) swan is actually in Bowes Museum just on the outskirts of Barnard Castle.

It operates twice daily if I remember correctly - people queue for ages to see it.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Goaty on April 03, 2008, 12:27:29 PM
http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/collections/swan/


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: abby (tank girl) on April 03, 2008, 12:27:50 PM


Barnard castle, they have a cockwork swan you know, nice gaff


The clockwork ( and it is clockwork rather than cockwork!!) swan is actually in Bowes Museum just on the outskirts of Barnard Castle.

It operates twice daily if I remember correctly - people queue for ages to see it.


to see it do what?


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 03, 2008, 12:27:55 PM


I take it the lyrics 'How do you like my curtains, that I bought in Ikea last week?' weren't in the original song ;D


no they wernt, and you know fine well that the original lyrics had "the sales" where "ikea" goes

When did 'the sales' come into it?
Because I read those lyrics lyrics originally in an American magazine called Porthole, where the parody 'Fatty Groves' had the lyrics 'How do you like my curtains that I bought in the sale last week?'.
Before that I had only heard it as 'Ikea'.
I then heard Siomon use it on a 1998 DVD of Cropredy.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Barry on April 03, 2008, 12:40:33 PM
Aren't they down to the bloody awful Sid Kipper?


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 03, 2008, 12:41:49 PM

Aren't they down to the bloody awful Sid Kipper?

Possibly


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: diddlysquat on April 03, 2008, 12:50:52 PM



Barnard castle, they have a cockwork swan you know, nice gaff


The clockwork ( and it is clockwork rather than cockwork!!) swan is actually in Bowes Museum just on the outskirts of Barnard Castle.

It operates twice daily if I remember correctly - people queue for ages to see it.


to see it do what?


Move about in a clockworky fashion


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Paul on April 03, 2008, 01:19:56 PM




Barnard castle, they have a cockwork swan you know, nice gaff


The clockwork ( and it is clockwork rather than cockwork!!) swan is actually in Bowes Museum just on the outskirts of Barnard Castle.

It operates twice daily if I remember correctly - people queue for ages to see it.


to see it do what?


Move about in a clockworky fashion


So what's that got to do with cockwork?

Paul


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Goaty on April 03, 2008, 01:55:20 PM

http://emc.english.ucsb.edu/ballad_project/


This site is fascinating.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: martin driver on April 03, 2008, 02:26:23 PM

Aren't they down to the bloody awful Sid Kipper?


  Bl**dy Awful ?   Fair enough Sid may not be to everyones taste but he made me laugh so much it hurt when I saw him at the Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham a couple of years ago.  ;D                    


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: AndyCarter on April 03, 2008, 03:17:50 PM
Fatty Groves is a very funny parody and the Kippers' accompanying story about how they got the song from their "Scottish" boarder during the war is very funny too.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Barry on April 03, 2008, 03:55:42 PM
Each to their own,  gents.  He's never once made me even crack a smile.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: David W on April 03, 2008, 04:05:45 PM

Folk historians only - 'it don't matter answers' not appreciated!

I can't work it out - the earliest manuscripts are apparently border (which is not saying much as pre-17th century material was often transferred in manuscript rather than in print).  This implies the Northeast of England, Southeast of Scotland, but its earliest 17th century publications very much show it as a popular song in London.  

The events take place in Bucklesfordbury - the only place I can track down with a similar name just so happens to be where I lived as a teen - a a godforsaken street in Hitchin, Herts.

Confused! Help?


Back on topic and just musing on this really (well googling)

there is a village in Cumbria called Little Musgrave also a place in Co Durham called Barnards Castle - maybe some kind of geographical link, or at least a suggestion that thosenames may be linked with the North of England.

David W


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 03, 2008, 05:40:29 PM
According to Maart's Fairport song book, it's lord and lady 'Darnell'. ??? ???
A change in the lyrics maybe?


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Curt on April 03, 2008, 07:23:28 PM
Oh yes - that's Matty Groves is a later variant of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard - its common for characters to change names over time in folk songs.


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 08, 2008, 01:54:47 PM

Oh yes - that's Matty Groves is a later variant of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard - its common for characters to change names over time in folk songs.

Did it occure in May by any chance?


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: Amethyst (Jenny) on April 08, 2008, 02:23:35 PM
I love Sid Kipper too.. I find him very funny....  ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Where is Lord Barnard/Matty Groves set?
Post by: KascadeDan on April 08, 2008, 08:17:08 PM

I love Sid Kipper too.. I find him very funny....  ;D ;D ;D

I've never actually had the chance to see him.
He comes to Hitchin every year, but I've never been to see him. :( :( :(