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Tony Grist

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She Moved Through The Fair [May. 29th, 2007|12:29 pm]
Tony Grist
She Moved Through The Fair

My young love said to me my mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say
It will not be long now 'til our wedding Day

And she went away from me, she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her move here and move there
And then she went onward, just one star awake
Like the swan in the evening moves over the lake

The people were saying no two e'er were wed
But one had a sorrow that never was said
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear
And that was the last that I saw of my dear

Last night she came to me, my dead love came in
So softly she came her feet made no din
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say
It will not be long now 'til our wedding day

                                                       Anon + Padraic Colum

The song was collected in Donegal by Padraic Colum and Herbert Hughes and first published in 1909. The lyrics- all except the last verse- are Colum's work. 

I understand some people choose to have this played at their weddings. They must be mad. 


[User Picture]From: dakegra
2007-05-29 11:48 am (UTC)
not really a wedding song, is it?

I have the All About Eve version, which is hauntingly beautiful, and highly recommended if you've not heard it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 01:22 pm (UTC)
I haven't heard that one. Sinead O'Connor's version is good. She changes the genders round so it becomes "He Moved Through the Fair".
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[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2007-05-29 11:57 am (UTC)
That's how I feel about people who want 'We Have All The Time In The World' played at their weddings.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 01:24 pm (UTC)
Hey, it's a wedding- lets invoke Death!
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2007-05-29 12:00 pm (UTC)
So, Colum came across the lyrics in the last verse as a stand-alone entity, and made the other three verse up to lead into it?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 01:26 pm (UTC)
That's right.

He did a brilliant job, I think.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2007-05-29 12:18 pm (UTC)
He looks scary!

tha one that always gets me is 'dear Lord and Father of Mankind' - forgive our foolish ways!?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 01:33 pm (UTC)
He's waving something at the camera and I can't work out what it is.

"Dear Lord and Father"- heh, heh, heh. Quite apart from the ianappropriate lyrics it's such a dreary tune.
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[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2007-05-29 12:19 pm (UTC)
They leave out the third verse at weddings. It's still a nuts idea. You are right, though, a gorgeous, wonderful song.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 01:35 pm (UTC)
A lot of singers omit the third verse. I think it's a pity.
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[User Picture]From: upasaka
2007-05-29 01:34 pm (UTC)
People really don't think too carefully about wedding music sometimes. I just heard a story about a rich Jewish woman who was marrying an Arab and had Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess as the processional.

When I meet with couples to discuss wedding music, I usually cite "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" from the Beatles' White Album as an example of an inappropriate music choice. Sometimes they don't get it...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 01:41 pm (UTC)
My favourite- maybe it's an urban myth- is the one about the couple who request "The Robin Hood" song, meaning the theme from Prince of Thieves, and the organist plays the bouncy theme to the 1950s TV series-

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding down the glen,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men-
Feared by the bad, loved by the good-
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood...
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From: musewithamagnum
2007-05-29 01:41 pm (UTC)

Twill be stuck in my head the rest of the day....

I've been a bit fascinated by this song and what's become on almost archetypal image - the (usually doomed) loved one moving through the marketplace while the lover watches from afar...it's become an almost obligatory scene in any Scottish/Irish pseudo-historical drama. I've always wondered if there was some sort of connection with this song.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 02:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Twill be stuck in my head the rest of the day....

I think the song is almost certainly the origin of the scenario.

Sinead O'Connor sang a version of it (with genders reversed) over the lovers' last meeting in the Michael Collins biopic.
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[User Picture]From: karenetaylor
2007-05-29 02:19 pm (UTC)
Other strange wedding music picks:

Every Breath You Take (Sting)
Angel (Sarah McLaughlin)

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 02:54 pm (UTC)
Songs about stalking and suicide. Ah well- I guess you could say the people who chose them had a commendably realistic view of marriage
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2007-05-29 03:52 pm (UTC)
While plenty of cultures don't shy away from death, the Irish seem particularly adept at recognizing how it weaves in and out of every aspect of life, especially the happiest of moments. Some might call it a morbid holdover of their history, I think it's enlightening in the sense that it compels you to enjoy the time you have.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-05-29 03:57 pm (UTC)
I think it's a catholic thing- the dance of death and all that. "In the midst of life we are in death"
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[User Picture]From: momof2girls
2007-05-29 04:25 pm (UTC)
That would be a kind of, uh, creepy song to have played at one's wedding!
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2007-05-29 05:13 pm (UTC)
The lyrics- all except the last verse- are Colum's work.

Oddly enough, I think Padraic Colum's The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy (1918), a prose rendering for children with its half vase painting, half art nouveau illustrations by Willy Pogany, was my first encounter with the epic tradition.
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