Unknown mazurka?

Re: Unknown mazurka?

the tune is usually known as ‘The More We Are Together’ and is an English childrens song/nursery rhyme - I believe the tune was originally Viennese, so as the mazurka originally came from what was the Austro-Hungarian Empire its quite possible. I had no idea this particular tune had been adopted into Irish trad!

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Thanks! It is indeed a version of "The More We Are Together", which didn’t occur to me because in Sweden we sing that song (Swedish title "Ju mer vi är tillsammans") in 2/4, not in 3/4.
Even though I did hear most English nursery rhymes as a child when I went to an international school, this one seems to have been missing from my nursery rhyme repertoire.

Re: Unknown mazurka?

you are welcome. Is that Michael Tubridy who was in the Chieftains many years ago?

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Yes, that’s him.

BTW, I wonder if the dancers are doing some kind of mazurka steps. Any dancers in here who would know?

Re: Unknown mazurka?

This particular tune occurs in various forms (sometimes as part of another tune, e.g. http://richardrobinson.tunebook.org.uk/Tune/1971 ) around the Germanic countries (and maybe beyond). Whether it is regarded (or danced to) as a mazurka in any of those places, I do not know. But if you had to fit it into any of the tune categories in Irish Traditional Music, ‘mazurka’ would certainly be the closest fit - the melodic phrases are rather short for a waltz.

Does anyone know what the dance is in the above clip? It doesn’t look anything like a Donegal mazurka (which is a couple dance https://youtu.be/RaFDqFeFJBU :


Confusingly, in Irish set dancing the *Mazurka Set* is danced to reels.

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Is it just the way I hear it, or is not a long way from "We wish you a merry Christmas"?

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Did you ever see a lassie,
A lassie, a lassie?
Did you ever see a lassie,
Go this way and that?
Go this way and that way,
Go this way and that way.
Did you ever see a lassie,
Go this way and that?

Re: Unknown mazurka?

"Is it just the way I hear it, or is not a long way from "We wish you a merry Christmas"?"

Similar phrase structure, different notes (at least, in a different order). The tune for the children’s singing game ‘Poor Jenny is A-Weeping’ is also similar but distinct.

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Wikipedia says the tune for ‘Poor Jenny is A-Weeping’ is also "widely known in Europe". I wonder if there is/was a particular type of dance that goes with that phrasing.

Re: Unknown mazurka?

I knew this as a child, the song The More We Get Together (the happier we’ll be). In contrast to the original, composed in 1679 during the Plague in Vienna, O du lieber Augustin, about a ballad singer and bagpiper (!), with this story and these gloomy words:

[wikipedia]
In 1679, Vienna was struck by the Great Plague and Augustin was a ballad singer and bagpiper, who toured the city’s inns entertaining people. The Viennese loved Augustin because of his charming humour in bitter times, and they called him Lieber Augustin (Dear Augustin).

According to legend, once he was drunk and on his way home he fell in the gutter and went to sleep. He was mistaken for a dead man by the gravediggers patrolling the city for dead bodies. They picked him up and threw him, along with his bagpipes which they presumed were infected, into a pit filled with bodies of plague victims outside the city walls. Next day when Augustin woke up, he was unable to get out of the deep mass grave. He was shocked and after a while he started to play his bagpipes, because he wanted to die the same way he lived. Finally people heard him and he was rescued from this dreadful place. Luckily he remained healthy despite having slept with the infected dead bodies and Augustin became a symbol of hope for Viennese people.

O, you dear Augustin, Augustin, Augustin,
O, you dear Augustin, all is lost!

Money’s gone, girlfriend’s gone,
All is lost, Augustin!
O, you dear Augustin,
All is lost!

Coat is gone, staff is gone,
Augustin lies in the dirt.
O, you dear Augustin,
All is lost!

Even that rich town Vienna,
Broke is it like Augustin;
Shed tears with thoughts akin,
All is lost!

Every day was a feast,
Now we just have the plague!
Just a great corpse’s feast,
That is the rest.

Augustin, Augustin,
Lie down in your grave!
O, you dear Augustin,
All is lost!

A song about a bagpiper!

Re: Unknown mazurka?

This has been a very interesting read. I never would have thought that this song was traditional. I also remember hearing it when I was little as "The More We Get Together", and the first version I heard was, I think, from Raffi, who sings childrens’ songs. Imagine singing the above lyrics in a roomful of children!

Re: Unknown mazurka?

In the late sixties I heard a very similar tune as a childrens song from Manchester:

"You can’t put your muck in our dustbin, our dustbin, our dustbin
Our dustbin’s full"

PS I LOVE mazurkas

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Slightly off topic, but Jeff mentioning Harry Bradley makes me wonder - does anyone know what he’s up to these days?

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Interesting Jeff, what do the liner notes for the Harry Bradley Album say about that tune? (If you have the album)

Re: Unknown mazurka?

"I’m a Little Dutch Girl" is an English singing/clapping game. Various versions and tunes, but one of them is nearly identical to "The More We Get Together".
But I wonder where Harry Bradley got his version from.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9LfvF-NnGs

Re: Unknown mazurka?

I don’t think it’s going to help you, Henrik, but here’s Harry’s note on the tune (which he describes as a clog dance):

‘The second (I’m a Little Dutch Girl) stems from a creative proposal put forward put forward to resolve the marching dispute in Belfast by the city’s unofficial Lord Mayor Sam Murray.’

I suspect that Sam was suggesting that the adoption of the movements in the children’s dance would make fellers in bowler hats or berets look rather daft - https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/im-a-little-dutch-girl

Trying to find the answer I stumbled upon this excellent article by Martin Dowling - http://www.troublesarchive.com/resources/Troubled_Voices.pdf

Posted by .

Re: Mazurka gan ainm - - -

As a child I knew the German take on it and still remember some of that. My mother’s father was German. As often happens a dance melody gathers lyrics.

Yes dear Henrik, it is as played in the link given a ‘mazurka’… As to history I too would love to know. I suspect it would be like trying to tie down the Siebenschritt’s (7-step) original source. I’d be chuffed just to find or know it’s earliest appearances in print… How I wish I was in London at times like this, the National Library, or Munich, to peruse the many music and dance collections held there. New York ain’t bad either. And then there’s the Cecil Sharpe House library… I do have a few good sources on hand I could check, but sometimes it is pretty near to looking for a pin in a haystack…not that I don’t enjoy such madness… 😉

Another set of lyrics similar to an earlier one -

You can’t put your muck in our backyard, our backyard, our backyard.
You can’t put your muck in our backyard, our backyard’s full…

There are variants, including for the work ‘muck’…

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Funny that ‘I’m a Little Dutch Girl’ comes up, because just about every child in the Netherlands knows this tune as a Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) song: ‘Daar wordt aan de deur geklopt/There’s knocking at the door.’

And in the province of Groningen there’s another version that tells the story of a local race horse that died (in the local dialect): ‘t Peerd van ome Loeks is dood/Uncle Luke’s horse is dead.’ (Creative, I know.)

Re: Unknown mazurka?

Strange to hear a children’s song for Sinterklaas played as Irish flute tune..

Re: Unknown mazurka?

I love it! A good melody can start and go either way, from song to dance tune or vice versa… There are no doubt other sources and lyrics out there. I have rude/bawdy ones I won’t be digging up and offering here. Poor Augustine and the dead horse will do for now… Does anyone know of any early printed sources known for this one?

I know someone who was at the Michael Tubridy workshop shown in Henrik’s opening link and I’ve dropped them a line with a link to this discussion while also asking for any information…