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The Crafty Maid's Policy

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Lingua: Inglese


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[XIX° secolo]
Una ballada risalente alla prima metà dell'800, ma fors'anche precedente, che nelle Bodleian Libraries sta al n. 1624 e che è nota in molte versioni con i titoli alternativi de "The King and the Fair Maid" o "Sweet Joan" e altri.
La ballata fu anche raccolta nel 1907 da Henry Edward Denison Hammond ad Upway, Dorset, dalla testimone Marina Russell. Si trova infatti nel volume "Folk-songs from Dorset" (1908) della collana "Folk-songs of England" curata da Cecil J. Sharp.
Testi trovati su Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music e Contemplator
L'incisione forse più nota è quella di Frankie Armstrong nel suo "Lovely on the Water" del 1972, ma in seguito l'hanno interpretata anche Oak, Ash & Thorn, Martin Carthy, Mick Ryan & Pete Harris.

Lovely on the Water

Un bel racconto di riscossa e vendetta femminile contro la meschinità e la brutalità maschili.
La dolce Joan, infatti, sembra starci alle grezze o meno grezze avances del nobile/soldato/re del porco di turno, e probabilmente lei stessa sà bene che provare a resistere le varrebbe soltanto violenza e stupro. Così se la gioca con intelligente civetteria: "Mio signore, scendi da cavallo, che ciò che mi interessa sta proprio tra le tue gambe...", al che il piciu di turno smonta con una mano mentre con l'altra già si apre la patta, pregustando una bella chiavata con la servetta... Ma quella, veloce e gagliarda, monta in sella e lo deride, prima di partire al galoppo: "Mio signore, tu hai frainteso le mie parole, ciò che avevi tra le gambe e mi interessava tanto te l'ho appena fregato, adieu!"

Le lezioni poi sono diverse: ve ne sono di semplificate, in poche strofe, altre in cui la dolce Joan tiene testa a ben tre cavalieri, altre in cui la ragazza non si accontenata del cavallo ma deruba di tutto l'infoiato malcapitato, altre in cui col suo bottino la bella si reca dal fidanzato e vissero tutti felici e contenti, salvo il piciu rimasto col piciu moscio in mano...
Come listen awhile and I'll sing you a song
Of three merry gentlemen riding along.
They met a fair maid, unto her did say,
“We'll afraid this cold morning we'll do you some harm.”

“Oh no, kind sir,“ said the maid, “You're mistaken
To think this cold morning will do me some harm.
There's one thing I crave that lies twixt your legs;
If you give me that, it will keep me warm.”

“Then since you do crave it, my dear, you shall have it,
If you'll come with me to yonder green tree.
Then since you do crave it, my dear, you shall have it,
I'll make these two gentlemen witness to be.”

So the gentlemen lighted and straightway she mounted,
And looking the gentlemen hard in the face,
Saying, “You knew not my meaning, you wrong understood me.”
And along she went galloping down the long lane.

“Oh gentlemen, lend me one of your horses,
That I may ride after her down the long lane.
If I overtake her, I'll warrant I'll make her
Return unto me my own horse again.”

But soon as this fair maid she saw him a-coming,
She instantly then took a pistol in hand,
Saying, “Doubt not my skill but you I would kill,
I'll have you stand back or you were a dead man.”

“Oh, why do you spend your time here in talking?
Oh, why do you spend your time here in vain?
Come give her a guinea it's what she deserves
And I'll warrant they'll give you your horse back again.”

“Oh no, kind sir, you're vastly mistaken,
If it is his loss, well, it is my gain.
And your were a witness that he give it to me.“
And away she went galloping over the plain.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 26/12/2017 - 17:14




Lingua: Italiano

La versione sintetica cantata da Martin Carthy nel suo "Live in Sidmouth 1979", che si rifà alla sheet ballad "Sweet Joan" (1840 ca) di cui a Contemplator

Live in Sidmouth 1979
THE CRAFTY MAID'S POLICY (or SWEET JOAN)

If you'll gather around then I'll sing you a song
Of three merry gentlemen riding along.
Oh, they met little Joan, unto her they did say,
“I'm afraid this cold morning we'll do you some harm.”

“Oh no, gentlemen, you are wrong I'm afraid
If you think this cold morning will do me some harm.
One thing I desire it's between your legs;
If you give me that, it will keep me warm.”

So he jumped off his horse and she mounted it quick,
Looking the riders straight in the face.
She says, “You knew not my meaning, you misunderstand me.”
It was your horse I was needing, not anything else.”

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 26/12/2017 - 17:15




Lingua: Inglese

Un'altra versione da Contemplator, da una delle tante edizioni di canzoni inglesi curare da Cecil J. Sharp (1859-1924), considerato il padre del folk song revival inglese nei primi decenni del 900.
SWEET LOVELY JOAN

My story to you I will relate
Concerning of a pretty maid;
Concerning of sweet lovely Joan
As she sat milking all alone.

A noble knight he rode with speed;
All mounted on his milk-white steed;
He rode, he rode, himself alone,
Until he came to lovely Joan.

Good morning to you, my pretty maid
O twice good morning, sir, she said.
What! are you milking all alone?
O yes! replied sweet lovely Joan.

Then out he pull'd his purse of gold.
And said Fair maid do this behold!
All this I'll give if me you'll wed,
Her cheeks they blush'd like roses red.

O noble knight, I pray you forbear,
I cannot marry you, I swear
For on tomorrow I'm to wed
My own, my own true love instead.

Twas then he made her a solemn vow,
He'd wed her if she would or no;
But this he said to frighten Joan,
As she sat milking all alone.

Give me the gold, into my hand,
And I will be at your command;
For that will be more good to me
Than twenty husbands, sir, said she.

As he was looking across the mead,
She mounted on his milk-white steed.
He called, he called, 'twas all in vain.
She never once looked back again.

She did not feel that she was safe
Until she reached her true love's gate.
She'd robb'd him of his steed and gold
And left him an empty purse to hold.

It pleased her lover to the heart
To think how well she'd played her part:
Tomorrow morning we'll be wed,
And I will be the knight instead.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 26/12/2017 - 17:16




Lingua: Italiano

La versione dei Cara, gruppo del Baden-Württemberg dedito alla musica folk inglese, tedesca e francese, dal loro album "In Colour" del 2004.

In Colour
THE KING AND THE FAIR MAID

It was on a beautiful evening in May
Fa la la…
When a lady was walking a lonesome way
Fa la la…
The king and his soldiers came riding along,
Fa la la…
They'd been away from home so long.
Fa la la…

She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…
She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…

They suddenly stopped when they spied the maid.
Fa la la…
“Why are you walking alone so late?”
Fa la la…
“I'm on my way from my grandmother's home.”
Fa la la…
He said, “This is a dangerous place to roam!”
Fa la la…

She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…
She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…

“So come with me to my castle grand,”
Fa la la…
He smiled at her and he kissed her hand.
Fa la la…
“There's one condition before I agree,
Fa la la…
There's something between your legs I'd like to see.”
Fa la la…

She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…
She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…

The king he blushed and dismounted his horse,
Fa la la…
He wanted to take the lady by force.
Fa la la…
She jumped upon his horse so quick,
Fa la la…
He soon realised her insidious trick.
Fa la la…

She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…
She was young and fair,
Fa la la…
The birds were singing in the air.
Fa la la…

“Farewell, dear king, you're generous and fine,
Fa la la…
What's been between your legs is now between mine!”
Fa la la…
“Farewell, dear king, you're generous and fine,
Fa la la…
What's been between your legs is now between mine!”
Fa la la…

And then she went away,
Fa la la…
Over the hills and far away.
Fa la la…
And then she went away,
Fa la la…
Over the hills and far away.
Fa la la…
And then she went away,
Fa la la…
Over the hills and far away.
Fa la la…
And then she went away,
Fa la la…
Over the hills and far away.
Fa la la…

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 26/12/2017 - 17:18



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