Judy Cook, Folksinger

Griesly Bride

Author: W:John Manifold, T:Tom Campbell

Source: Words by John Manifold; tune by Tom Campbell. On Harry Tuft, ""Across the Blue Mountains, Folk Legacy Records FSA-63, Sharon, CT 1976.

Notes: I've now revised my notes to the background of this song, which say that Tom Campbell (best known song 'Darcy Farrow') read the Manifold poem in a high school textbook called 'Sound & Sense - an introduction to poetry'. Apparently he changed the original text, so that the words printed in the Digital Tradition (and recorded by several artists) are different to the original poem, which was not intended to be set in Australia. That's why I changed it to 'wolves' who howl (not 'yowl'), as I felt more comfortable with that. The notes below explain; and are followed by what I think is the original poem. Nowhere have I seen that Campbell actually composed the tune (just 'set' the text to music), a melody which some have said sounds a bit like 'Love Henry', and Tim Edwards thinks is like parts of 'Tam Lin'. And yes, I agree that our G4T sessions are completely wonderful! Such a supportive environment in which to present and discuss our repertoires, knowing that everyone there is really interested to hear them - and no live audiences to inhibit our choices. We're still learning know to make the best of Zoom, of course, but my Glad4Tradders are an inspiration. Cheerio for now, with love from Sue. Bride From: Joe_F Date: 26 Sep 12 - 10:16 AM Campbell's adaptation is considerable & (IMO) often for the better. However, it creates two problems that (I hear) have puzzled Australians who have heard the song but not read the poem. One is the substitution of "dingoes" for "wild dogs", which places the narrative in Australia. The other is the griesly news in the last stanza that the man is a *trapper*, thus providing a vengeful motive for the animal. I gather that there are in fact no animals in Australia whose pelt is valuable enough to provide a living for trappers. It seems clear that Manifold did *not* intend the story to be set in his native Australia. The Griesly Wife: "Lie Still, my newly married wife, Lie easy as you can. You're young and ill accustomed yet To sleepying with a man." The snow lay thick, the moon was full And shone across the floor. And the young wife went with ne'er a word Barefooted to the door. He up and followed sure and fast, The moon shone clear and white. But before his coat was on his back His wife was out of sight. He trod the trail where'er it turned By many a mound and scree, And still the barefoot track led on, And an angry man was he. He followed fast, he followed slow, And still he called her name, But only the wild dogs out in the hills Yowled back at him again. His hair stood up along his neck, His angry mind was gone, For the track of the two bare feet gave out And a four-foot track went on. Her nightgown lay upon the snow As it might upon the sheet, But the track that led from where it lay Was ne'er of human feet. His heart turned over in his chest, He looked from side to side, And he thought more of his blazing fire, Than he did of his griesly bride. And first he started walking back And then began to run, And his quarry wheeled at the end of her track And hunted him in turn. Oh, long the fire may burn for him And open stand the door, And long may the bed wait empty: For he'll never see it more.