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The Cutty Wren

anonimo


Lingua: Inglese



[Traditional/Tradizionale]
[XIV century / XIV secolo ?]
Interpretata dai Chumbawamba
Performed by Chumbawamba
[1989]
Album: "English Rebel Songs 1381-1914"

Uno scricciolo (wren)
Uno scricciolo (wren)


Un'antichissima canzone tradizionale inglese la cui vera origine e natura è da sempre oggetto di dispute. Molti (e con loro i Chumbawamba che la hanno recentemente riproposta) la considerano senz'altro la più antica protest song mai scritta (ma sarebbe meglio dire: la più antica in lingua inglese) - An English song that dates from the 1393 Peasant's Revolt. The Cutty Wren represents the feudal landlord who not only owned the land but the peasants who worked it. [Da The Union Song ], mentre per altri, sulla base di considerazioni altrettanto valide, è una canzone simbolica di carattere addirittura magico-rituale. Ad ogni modo, in omaggio alla teoria che la vuole una "proto-canzone di protesta", la accogliamo volentieri nel nostro sito riportando in primis la completa trattazione ripresa da en.wikipedia:

The Cutty Wren and its variants like The Hunting of the Wren are traditional English folk songs. The origins and meaning of the song are disputed. It is thought by some to represent the human sacrifice of the Year King, or the symbolic substitute slaughter of the wren as "king of the birds" at the end of the year for similar purposes, and such songs are traditionally sung on boxing day, just after the winter solstice. These rituals are discussed in The Golden Bough.

The rebellious wren?

On the other hand, it is also attributed to the English peasants' revolt of 1381, and the wren is supposed to be the young king Richard II of England, who is killed and fed to the poor. However there is no strong evidence to connect this song with the Peasant's revolt. This idea seems to have originated in A.L. Lloyd's 1944 book "The Singing Englishman". The liner notes to Chumbawamba's album "English Rebel Songs 1381-1914" state categorically that the song was written in the fourteenth century. However, taking a more sober, scholarly approach, the earliest known text is from Herd's "Scots Songs" 1776. The song is given no title, but begins with these words:

Will ze go to the wood? quo' FOZIE MOZIE;
Will ze go to the wood? quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE;
Will ze go to the wood? quo' FOSLIN'ene;
Will ze go to the wood? quo' brither and kin.

What to do there? quo' FOZIE MOZIE;
What to do there? quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE;
What to do there? quo' FOSLIN'ene;
What to do there? quo' brither and kin.

To slay the WREN, quo' FOZIE MOZIE:
To slay the WREN, quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE:
To slay the WREN, quo' FOSLIN'ene:
To slay the WREN, quo' brither and kin.

There is a version in Welsh ("Helg Yn Dreain"), published by the Manx Society in 1869. [3] In the Orkneys, a version called "The Brethren Three" (published 1915) describes the song as a lullaby. ("We'll aff tae the wids, says Tosie Mosie"). The often quoted "Milder to Moulder" version first appears in Cecil Sharp's "English Folk Songs" (1920), under the title "Green Bushes".

In the USA the song has undergone considerable evolution, into the song "Billy Barlow", first known in 1916. In Ireland the hunt generally took place on Christmas day, with the procession taking place on St Stephen's day (26th December). On the Isle of Man, up to the end of the eighteenth century, the ceremony was observed on Christmas morning. In Carcasone (France), in the nineteenth century, it was on the first Sunday in December. The American versions mention a squirrel, rat or other small animal rather than a wren. The Chieftains stage performances have included dancers dressed as Wrenboys, in straw clothes. This has been captured on the the album "Bells of Dublin", which includes 6 tracks devoted to the ceremony, singing and dancing.

Chips with Everything

In Arnold Wesker's play "Chips with Everything" (1962), the conscripts sing "The Cutty Wren" with more and more aggression with each verse. This is fairly incomprehensible unless we make the connection with the Peasants' revolt. Perhaps Wesker had read A.L. Lloyd's book. The two of them had worked together at "Centre 42" in 1960. 1962 was the year in which Ian Campbell decided to include the song on his album "Songs of Protest". It is possible that between the three of them they have generated an artificial mythology of a workers revolt being somehow connected with this song. Maud Karpeles was the first to question Lloyd's proposition.

Recordings

* "American Folk Songs for Children", Pete Seeger 1953 , as "Billy Barlow"
* "The Lark in the Morning", Liam Clancy 1955, as "The Wran Song"
* "Texas Folksongs", Alan Lomax 1958, as "Billy Barlow"
* "Songs of Protest", The Ian Campbell Folk Group 1962, as "The Cutty Wren"
* "So Much for Dreaming", Ian and Sylvia 1967 as "Cutty Wren".
* "Prince Heathen", Martin Carthy 1969, as "The Wren"
* "Please to See the King", Steeleye Span 1972, as "The King"
* "No Relation", Royston and Heather Wood 1977, as "The Cutty Wren"
* "Sound Sound Your Instruments of Joy", The Watersons 1977, as "Joy, Health, Love and Peace"
* "Live At Last," Steeleye Span 1978, as "Hunting The Wren."
* "Winter's Turning", Robin Williamson 1986, as "Hunting the Wren"
* "English Rebel Songs 1381-1914", Chumbawamba 1988, as "The Cutty Wren"
* "Oranges and Lemmings" (Les Barker), Martin Carthy and June Tabor 1990, as "Hunting the Cutty Wren"
* "Bells of Dublin", The Chieftains 1991, 6 tracks
* "The Day Dawn", Boys of the Lough 1994, medley of 4 Scots and Irish wren tunes
* "Time," Steeleye Span 1996, as "The Cutty Wren."
* "Wassail!", John Kirkpatrick 1998, as "Hunting the Wren"
* "Up in the North, Down in the South" Bill Whiting (VA) 2001 as "I'm Going to the Woods"
* "Ballad of America volume 2", Matthew Sabatella 2006, as "Billy Barlow"

There is a Breton tune called "The Wren", played by Maggie Sansome on the album "A Celtic Fair" (2007), but it is not clear if this is related to the ceremony.

English Rebel SongsThe Cutty Wren was written at the time of the Peasant's Revolt in 1381. It tells the story of the capture of the wren - a symbol for the King - and it's division amongst the poor people. An ancient custom in those times declared that for one day in each year the commoners would have the freedom of the kingdom, and it was on this day that the wren was hunted. The people obviously wanted more than this token relief from daily poverty and starvation: when the King tried to introduce a Poll Tax, further crippling the peasants, they ganged together and began to murder first the taxcollectors and then the Lords and Bishops. The peasants had had enough.
Opposition to the tax created a spontaneous revolutionary army. Under the leadership of Wat Tyler, a commoner from Colchester, the people marched through Kent and into London. Palaces were ransacked. Archbishops were dispatched to meet their maker. For nine days the peasants had, in effect, control of England. The King proclaimed that servants, peasants, commoner - all were now free people.
The jubilation didn't last long. At a prearranged meeting between Tyler and the King's courtiers, and out of sight of the peasant army, Wat Tyler was murdered. The huge people's army, too dependent upon his leadership, was divided and routed by the King's soldiers.
The re-introduction of the Poll Tax in Britain, over six hundred years later, suitably demonstrated the historical link of outright defiance and resistance across the centuries. The Poll Tax, both then and now, was scrapped.

"If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge?"
(Shakespeare, from 'The Merchant of Venice', 1594)



English Rebel Songs

''English Rebel Songs 1381–1914'' by Chumbawamba.


The Cutty Wren - The Diggers' Song [Levellers and Diggers] - The Colliers March - The Triumph Of General Ludd - Chartists Anthem - Song on the Times - Smashing Of The Van - The World Turned Upside Down [Digger's Song] - Poverty Knock - Idris Strike Song - Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire

Nel 2003 i Chumbawamba hanno ripubblicato l'album aggiungendo alcune canzoni con il titolo ''English Rebel Songs 1381–1984'':

The Bad Squires - Coal Not Dole

Oh where are you going said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We're off to the woods said John the Red Nose
We're off to the woods said John the Red Nose

And what will you do there said Milder to Moulder
We'll shoot the Cutty wren said John the Red Nose
And how will you shoot her said Milder to Moulder
With bows and with arrows said John the Red Nose

Oh that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will you do then said Festel to Fose
Great guns and great cannon said John the Red Nose
Great guns and great cannon said John the Red Nose

And how will you fetch her said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
On four strong men's shoulders said John the Red Nose
On four strong men's shoulders said John the Red Nose

Ah that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will do then said Festel to Fose
Great carts and great wagons said John the Red Nose
Great carts and great wagons said John the Red Nose

Oh how will you cut her up said Milder to Moulder
With knives and with forks said John the Red Nose
Oh that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Great hatchets and cleavers said John the Red Nose

Oh how will you boil her said Milder to Moulder
In pots and in kettles said John the Red Nose
O that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Great pans and large cauldrons said John the Red Nose

Oh who'll get the spare ribs said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We'll give 'em all to the poor said John the Red Nose
We'll give 'em all to the poor said John the Red Nose

inviata da donquijote82 - 16/6/2008 - 17:01




Lingua: Scozzese

Il più antico testo conosciuto della canzone, dalle Scots Song dello Herd, 1776. Presente anche nel testo manoscritto dello stesso Herd (Herd Manuscript), stampato poi da Hans Hecht, p. 200.

"The Cutty Wren", untitled, from Herd's 'Scots Songs', 1776, the earliest known text. Also in Herd's MSS, printed by Hans Hecht, p. 200.
cuttywrenTHE CUTTY WREN

Will ze go to the wood? quo' FOZIE MOZIE;
Will ze go to the wood? quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE;
Will ze go to the wood? quo' FOSLIN'ene;
Will ze go to the wood? quo' brither and kin.

What to do there? quo' FOZIE MOZIE;
What to do there? quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE;
What to do there? quo' FOSLIN'ene;
What to do there? quo' brither and kin.

To slay the WREN, quo' FOZIE MOZIE:
To slay the WREN, quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE:
To slay the WREN, quo' FOSLIN'ene:
To slay the WREN, quo' brither and kin.

What way will ze get her hame? quo' FOZIE MOZIE;
What way will ze get her hame? quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE;
What way will ze get her hame? quo' FOSLIN'ene;
What way will ze get her hame? quo' brither and kin.

We'll hyre carts and horse, quo' FOZIE MOZIE:
We'll hyre carts and horse, quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE:
We'll hyre carts and horse, quo' FOSLIN'end:
We'll hyre carts and horse, quo' brither and kin.

What way will we get her in? quo' FOZIE MOZIE;
What way will we get her in? quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE;
What way will we get her in? quo' FOSLIN'ene;
What way will we get her in? quo' brither and kin.

We'll drive down the door-cheeks, quo' FOZIE MOZIE:
We'll drive down the door-cheeks, quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE:
We'll drive down the door-cheeks, quo' FOSLIN'ene:
We'll drive down the door-cheeks, quo' brither and kin.

I'll hae a wing, quo' FOZIE MOZIE:
I'll hae another, quo' JOHNIE REDNOZIE:
I'll hae a leg, quo' FOSLIN'ene:
And I'll hae anither, quo' brither and kin.

inviata da Riccardo Venturi - 21/6/2008 - 13:17




Lingua: Italiano

Versione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
21 giugno 2008
LO SCRICCIOLINO

Ehi, ma dove vai, disse Milder a Moulder
Non vogliamo dirtelo disse Festel a Fose
Stiamo andando al bosco, disse John Nasorosso
Stiamo andando al bosco, disse John Nasorosso

E che ci andate a fare, disse Milder a Moulder,
A tirar giù lo Scricciolino, disse John Nasorosso
E come farete, disse Milder a Moulder,
Con archi e con frecce, disse John Nasorosso

Oh, ma non servirà, disse Milder a Moulder,
E che farete allora, disse Festel a Fose
Grand'armi e cannone, disse John Nasorosso,
Grand'armi e cannone, disse John Nasorosso

E come l'acchiapperete, disse Milder a Moulder,
Non vogliamo dirtelo, disse Festel a Fose
Sulle spalle di quattro forzuti, disse John Nasorosso
Sulle spalle di quattro forzuti, disse John Nasorosso

Eh, ma non servirà, disse Milder a Moulder,
E come farete, disse Festel a Fose
Gran carri e carrozze, disse John Nasorosso
Gran carri e carrozze, disse John Nasorosso

E come lo taglierete, disse Milder a Moulder.
Con coltelli e forchette, disse John Nasorosso
Oh, ma non servirà, disse Milder a Moulder,
Grand'asce e mannaje, disse John Nasorosso

E come lo cuocerete, disse Milder a Moulder,
In pentole e caldaje, disse John Nasorosso
Oh, ma non servirà, disse Milder a Moulder
Gran padelle e calderoni, disse John Nasorosso

E chi avrà la rosticciana, disse Milder a Moulder,
Non vogliamo dirtelo, disse Festel a Fose,
La daremo tutta ai poveri, disse John Nasorosso,
La daremo tutta ai poveri, disse John Nasorosso.

21/6/2008 - 18:12




Lingua: Francese

Version française de Riccardo Venturi
21 juin 2008
LE PETIT TROGLODYTE

Hein, c'est où ousque tu vas, dit Milder à Moulder,
Pas question de te l'dire, dit Festel à Fose
On va dans la forêt, dit Jean Nezrouge
On va dans la forêt, dit Jean Nezrouge

Et qu'allez-vous y faire, dit Milder à Moulder,
Abattre le troglodyte, dit Jean Nezrouge
Comment allez-vous le faire, dit Milder à Moulder
Avec arcs et flèches, dit Jean Nezrouge

Ça n' va servir à rien, dit Milder à Moulder.
Qu'allez-vous faire donc, dit Festel à Fose
De grandes armes et canons, dit Jean Nezrouge
De grandes armes et canons, dit Jean Nezrouge

Comment allez-vous l'attraper, dit Milder à Moulder
Pas question de te l'dire, dit Festel à Fose
Porté par quat' costauds, dit Jean Nezrouge
Porté par quat' costauds, dit Jean Nezrouge

Ça n' va servir à rien, dit Milder à Moulder.
Comment allez-vous faire, dit Festel à Fose
De grandes charrettes et voitures, dit Jean Nezrouge.
De grandes charrettes et voitures, dit Jean Nezrouge

Comment allez-vous le couper, dit Milder à Moulder,
Avec couteaux et fourchettes, dit Jean Nezrouge
Ça n' va servir à rien, dit Milder à Moulder,
De grandes haches et couperets, dit Jean Nezrouge

Commet allez-vous le cuire, dit Milder à Moulder,
Dans det pots et chaudrons, dit Jean Nezrouge
Ça n' va servir à rien, dit Milder à Moulder
De grandes poêles et chaudrons, dit Jean Nezrouge

Qui aura les côtes qui restent, dit Milder à Moulder,
Pas question de te l' dire, dit Festel à Fose
On va les donner aux pauvres, dit Jean Nezrouge,
On va les donner aux pauvres, dit Jean Nezrouge

21/6/2008 - 18:36


Pagina principale CCG

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