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> Cornish Folk Songs, Join in and have a listen
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emerald-eyedwanderer 
  Posted: 03-Feb-2005, 12:14 AM
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Durdatha whye!
Good day to you!

Here are some lyrics of folk songs that are sung in Cornwall. If you ever come across any, please feel free to share.

Camborne Hill
Going up Camborne Hill, coming down
Going up Camborne Hill, coming down
The horses stood still;
The wheels went around;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down
White stockings, white stockings she wore
White stockings, white stockings she wore
White stockings she wore:
The same as before;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

I knowed her old father old man
I knowed her old father old man
I knowed her old man:
He played in the band;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

I had her, I had her, I did
I had her, I had her, I did
I had her, I did:
It cost me a quid;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

He heaved in the coal - the steam
He heaved in the coal, in the steam
He heaved in the coal:
The steam hit the beam
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

Going up Camborne Hill, coming down
Going up Camborne Hill, coming down
The horses stood still;
The wheels went around;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down


Trelawny
With a good sword and a trusty shield
A faithful heart and true
King James's men shall understand
What Cornish men can do
And have they fixed the where and when?
And shall Trelawny die?
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why.
Chorus
And shall Trelawny live?
Or shall Trelawny die?
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why.

Out spake the captain brave and bold
A merry wight was he
Though London Tower were Michael's hold
We'll set Trelawny free
We'll cross the Tamar, land to land
The Severn is no stay
Then one and all and hand in hand
And who shall bid us nay.

And when we came to London wall
A pleasant sight to view
Come forth, come forth, ye cowards all
Here are better men than you
Trelawny, he's in keep in hold
Trelawny he may die
But twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why.


Little Eyes
I dreamed a dream, the other night
The strangest dream of all
I dreamed I saw you kissing her
Behind the garden wall
Chorus:
And she said:
Little eyes I love you (honey!)
Little eyes I love you
I love you in the springtime and the fall (fall-fall-fall)
Little eyes I love you (honey!)
Little eyes I love you
I love you best of all.

I took my true love down the lane
Beneath the spreading pine
I put my arms around her waist
And pressed her lips to mine

And she said: (chorus)

I took her round to my back yard
To see my turtle dove
O tell me honey tell me true
Who is the one you love.

And she said: (chorus)


Lamorna
So, now I'll sing to 'ee
Its about a maiden fair
I met the other evening
In the corner of the square
She had a wild and roving eyes:
We met down to Lamorna
And we roved all night
In the pale moonlight
Away down to Lamorna
Chorus:
Twas down in Albert Square
I never shall forget:
Her eyes they shone like diamonds
And the evening it was wet wet wet
And her hair hung down in curls
She was a charming rover
And we roved all night
In the pale moonlight
Away down to Lamorna

As we got in the cab
Well I asked her for her name
And when she gave it me
Well her name it was the same
So I lifted up her veil
For her face was covered over
To my surprise
It was my wife
I took down to Lamorna

She said "I knowed 'ee well
I knowed 'ee all along
I knowed 'ee in the dark
But I did it for a lark - lark - lark
And for that lark you'll pay
For the taking of my Donna
For I declare
You'll pay the fare
Away down to Lamorna


Notes to the Songs

Camborne Hill:
This song celebrates Richard Trevithick's historic steam engine ride up Camborne Hill to Beacon on Christmas Eve 1801. The steam engine, invented in the late seventeenth century, had been progressively refined for use in Cornish tin mines during the eighteenth century. It was unable to generate enough power for automobility, however, until Trevithick's high pressure engine in 1801. The engine ran up the steep hill towards Beacon Village amid crowds of interested onlookers. One of these was Lady de Dunstanville, whose origins were less exalted than her aristocratic title might suggest. The Camborne mob, wasting no opportunity to bring her down to her level, reminded her of her origins and suggested that she could not, even in her newly exalted state, bring herself (or afford?) to buy a new pair of stockings. There is no evidence that the scurrilous suggestion in the fourth verse, always sung in Camborne but rarely printed, is true.


Trelawny:
The correct title of this song is: 'The Song of the Western Men'. Most of it was written in 1825 by R.S. Hawker (1804-1875), the celebrated 'Vicar of Morwenstow'. He extrapolated the song from the well-known Cornish proverb:

And shall Trelawny die?
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why!
The Trelawny in question was Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bishop of Bristol, one of seven bishops imprisoned in the Tower of London by James II in 1687. The Cornish, staunchly Catholic at the time of the Reformation, had now turned staunchly Protestant and were vocal in his defence - although the threatened rebellion failed to materialise. Many people have erroneously supposed the song to be ancient, among them, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Macaulay, and Charles Dickens.


Little Eyes:
Merv Davey, in Hengan: Traditional Folk Songs, Dances and Broadside Ballads collected in Cornwall (Redruth: Dyllansow Truran, 1983), notes that this song is 'quite a remarkable example of the way in which a song can be adopted into the traditional repertoire of a community'. Little Eyes (and not Little Lize, as some people think) was released in the 1950s by an American close harmony group called the Deep River Boys as the B side to their disc Deep River and taken up by a Camborne band called the Joy Boys. It became a local hit and, with by now many changes to the words, remains popular in West Cornwall long after the rest of the world has forgotten it.


Lamorna:
The origins of this song are unclear. Davey thinks it might be a music hall song. The reference to Albert Square certainly makes it post 1840 (when Albert married Victoria) and probably much later. Despite several well-known squares of that name, including a real one in Manchester and a fictional one on the BBC soap opera Eastenders, there is no Albert Square in Penzance or Lamorna. Regardless of its origins, it remains one of the most popular songs in Camborne and the rest of Cornwall.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I love these songs. You can hear the recordings here: Listen to the songs!

Tereba nessa. Comero weeth.
Till next time. Take care.



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Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you judge people you have no time to love them. ~Mother Teresa


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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 03-Feb-2005, 03:01 PM
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Hi there Em dear!

I love the songs! I tried to go to the site to listen but my computer is so old that I only got to hear a little of the first song before I lost my internet connection. (This computer doesn't like doing fancy things like that! wink.gif ) But I loved the words! Thanks for sharing this with us!


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'S i Alba tr mo chridhe. 'S i Gidhlig cnan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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emerald-eyedwanderer 
  Posted: 03-Feb-2005, 06:44 PM
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Thank you, Wizard. I'm sorry you didn't have a chance to listen to the songs. Check it out if you ever get a chance to open it on a different computer.
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sonic-skunk 
Posted: 28-Aug-2007, 08:02 AM
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The chorus for Trelawney in cornish is:

Verow Trelawney bras
Verow trelawney bras
Ottomma ugans myl kernow
A woffyth oll an cas

Its a great song!
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