Hello all, does anybody know if Kornog’s song Jesuitmont is a Scottish, Irish, or Breton tune and song, or if it is a creation by the band themselves?
No longer have the album, unfortunately, so can’t remember anything from the sleeve notes. From what I do remember, having heard “Kornog” perform it at the Lorient Festival [ 1986, I think ], Jamie based the lyrics on a traditional song, most probably Scottish, because he was always very good at digging up old songs from books. I have a feeling the tune may be based on a Breton dance tune. You’d need to either ask Jamie himself, or get hold of the sleeve notes of either the LP record or CD. My guess would be a SCottish / Irish “fusion”, and it’s certainly a highly original arrangement, or “creation”, if you like, of the band themselves.
I don’t believe there’s any Irish connection to the song.
Hope this helps.
PS - probably the only song, traditional or otherwise, where somebody ends up as the ingredients of a pie !
PS - shame that there’s no comments on this recording in the 12 years since it was posted. It is absolutely brilliant, very reminiscent of a Scottish / Breton “Planxty”, in the prominent use of bouzouki, and every bit as good, IMHO.
Thank you Kenny; it is a shame that few people have been talking about Kornog on here; its a band that has really not come up on the folk scene where I am that much (I discovered it on iTunes). And your notes were very helpful. The song makes me think a little bit of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus with the whole pie business.
I have the sleeve notes here if you’re still curious:
Jesuitmont - Traditional/McMenemy
This is an old ballad (SCOTCH BALLADS: MATERIAL FOR BORDER MINSTRELSY, from Jean Scott), the words of which were given to Jamie about seven years ago by a friend, Elaine Petrie. Child, in his collection, mentions this ballad, in which the stepmother has her stepdaughter chopped up and cooked, then served to her husband in a pie. It is mentioned in connection to Lady Diamond (Child #269) where the kitchen boy, lover to the King’s daughter, has his heart torn out and served up to the Princess in a cup of gold. Here the kitchen boy tries to save the daughter, and is rewarded in the end, leaving behind what can only be called a hazardous occupation. This probably originates with the whole series of ballads having themes on variations of tales in the famous Italian DECAMERON.