dinsdag 10 april 2012

Bob Dylan - Seven Curses (1963, 1964)

John Jacob Niles

Seven Curses (1963, 1964)

Old Reilly stole a stallion
But they caught him and they brought him back
And they laid him down on the jailhouse ground
With an iron chain around his neck

Old Reilly’s daughter got a message
That her father was goin’ to hang
She rode by night and came by morning
With gold and silver in her hand

When the judge he saw Reilly’s daughter
His old eyes deepened in his head
Sayin’, “Gold will never free your father
The price, my dear, is you instead”

“Oh I’m as good as dead,” cried Reilly
“It’s only you that he does crave
And my skin will surely crawl if he touches you at all
Get on your horse and ride away”

“Oh father you will surely die
If I don’t take the chance to try
And pay the price and not take your advice
For that reason I will have to stay”

The gallows shadows shook the evening
In the night a hound dog bayed
In the night the grounds were groanin’
In the night the price was paid

The next mornin’ she had awoken
To know that the judge had never spoken
She saw that hangin’ branch a-bendin’
She saw her father’s body broken

These be seven curses on a judge so cruel:
That one doctor will not save him
That two healers will not heal him
That three eyes will not see him
That four ears will not hear him
That five walls will not hide him
That six diggers will not bury him
And that seven deaths shall never kill him


Nog zo’n Dylan song die ik leerde kennen via het “Dylan Songbook” van Witmark and Sons.

Deze song gaat terug op “Anathea” (Neil Roth, Lydia Wood) dat een gelijklopend verhaal vertelt.

Het verhaal is zo oud als de straat. Het is sinds eeuwen in de Angelsaksische folk traditie gekend onder varianten als ‘The Prickley Bush,’ ‘The Briery Bush,’ en ‘The Prickle Holly Bush”.

De vroegste versie zou wel eens Child Ballad number 95, ‘The Maid Freed From the Gallows’ kunnen zijn. Ik voeg deze ballad hierbij in de versie van John JacobNiles.

Ook Leadbelly’s “Gallows Pole” gaat hierop terug.

“Hangman, hangman, hangman / slack your rope awhile.
I think I see my father / ridin’ many a mile.
Father, did you bring any silver? / father, did you bring any gold,
Or did you come to see me / hangin’ from the gallows pole?”
“No, I didn’t bring any silver, / no I didn’t bring any gold.
I just come to see you / hangin’ from the gallows pole.”

Waarschijnlijk is dus dat Dylans direkte bron “Anathea” was, zoals Judy Collins dat zong.

Judy Collins : “Absolutely, the seven curses are related to Anathea. There are old themes, world themes, centuries’ old dramas that get worked out in the creative process by artist after artist. I see what Dylan has always done is to connect with this inner, subterranean river of the subconscious.”

Hier zijn dan :

1 John Jacob Niles -  The Hangman, or The Maid Freed from the Gallows

2 Judy Collins – Anathea

3 Bob Dylan – Seven Curses

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