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Tel: 978-897-9969

Program Notes

Five Folk Songs for Soprano and Band

Bernard Gilmore, composer

Thomas Stone, arranger

English translations of the lyrics:

I. Mrs. McGrath (Irish)

"Oh, Mrs. McGrath," the sargeant said,
"Would you like to make a soldier out of your son, Ted
with a scarlet coat and a big cocked hat,
Oh, Mrs. McGrath, wouldn't you like that?"
Wid yer too-ri-ah, fol-a-diddle-ah,
too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ah,
wid yer too-ri-ah, fol-a-diddle-ah,
too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ah.

Now, Mrs. McGrath lived on the shore
for the space of seven long years or more.
Till she saw a ship sailing into the bay
"Here's my son Ted would ya clear the way?"

(chorus)

"Oh captain dear, where have you been
have you been sailing on the Mediter-e-an.
Oh have you any tidings of my son Ted,
is the poor boy living or is he dead?"

(chorus)

Then up came Ted without any legs
and in their place, he has two wooden pegs.
She kiss'd him a thousand times or more,
saying "Mother of God-it isn't you."

(chorus)

"Oh were ye drunk or were ye blind
that ye left your two fine legs behind.
Or was it walking upon the sea
wore your fine legs from the knees away?"

"Oh I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
but I left my two fine legs behind.
For a cannon ball on the fifth of May
took my two legs from the knees away."

"All foreign wars I do proclaim
between Don John and the King of Spain.
For I'd rather my Ted as he used to be
than the King of France and his whole navee."

II. All the Pretty Little Horses (American)

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,
go to sleepy little baby.
When you wake you shall have cake
and all the pretty little horses.

Black and bays, dapples and greys,
coach and six o' little horses.
Blacks and bays, dapples and greys,
all the pretty little horses.

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,
go to sleepy little baby.
Your pa's away, gone astray,
gone and left you little lambie

Daddy's eye is runnin' dry,
he can't cry for you like mammy.
Daddy's eye is runnin' dry,
gone and left you little lambie.

III. Yerakina (Greek)

Yerakina went out to get water,
to get cold water.
Druga, druna, drun, drun, drun.
Her bracelets rattle, her bracelets rattle.
Druga, druga, druna, drun, drun, drun.

And she fell into the water well,
and she gave a big yell!
Druga, druna, drun, drun, drun.
Her bracelets rattle, her bracelets rattle.
Druga, druga, druna, drun, drun, drun.

Yerakina, I shall pull you out,
and I shall take you as my wife.
Druga, druna, drun, drun, drun.
Her bracelets rattle, her bracelets rattle.
Druga, druga, druna, drun, drun, drun.

IV. El Burro (Spanish)

The donkey that used to carry the vinegar just died,
and the Lord has taken him from his miserable life.
Que tu ru ru ru ru...

He was valiant, and he was black,
he was the comfort of all the village.
Que tu ru ru ru ru...

He straightens his little hoofs, and opened his wide mouth,
and with his tail firmly behind him, he said "goodbye" to everyone.
Que tu ru ru ru ru...

All the neighbors went to the funeral,
and aunt Maria played the cattle-bell.
Que tu ru ru ru ru...

The donkey that used to carry the vinegar just died,
and the Lord has taken him from his miserable life.
Que tu ru ru ru ru...

V. A Fidler (Yiddish)

So as the father from Yaridl,
I have bought a new fiddle.
Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si,
I now play didl, di, di, di.

Hold the head down,
and let your eyes shine.
Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si,
I now play didl, di, di, di.

Right foot forward a little,
Tap the floor with the little foot.
Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si,
I now play didl, di, di, di.

Mother is chortled and filled with wonder,
Jascha Heiifetz grows by me!
Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si,
I now play didl, di, di, di.

—JSO

INDEX


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