We all have songs that mean something extra special to us whether by our associating them with a special an event, a date, a loved one, a precious moment, etc. In fact, if you’re like me, I could go on for hours singing the words to all the songs that are near and dear to me.
But there is one song—the one song that tops all the others, the one that brings a tear to my eye and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
“My” song is an American rendition of Greensleeves, which is an old English folk song of complicated, and not entirely identifiable origins. Greensleeves was a familiar song (tune) in Shakespeare’s day, because he referenced it in his play, The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1595. Falstaff: “Let the sky rain potatoes! Let it thunder to the tune of ‘Greensleeves’!”
There is a legend that the original song was written by Henry VIII for his future wife, Anne Boleyn, but that is apparently a myth as there is evidence the song was around before Henry’s time.
By 1690, or so, the original song was becoming associated with Christmas and New Year’s. Then by the 19th century, any Christmas songbook worth its salt included some version of the original folk song (lyrics and tune) as a carol. Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and a host of other crooners have recorded their renditions of Greensleeves. As a Christmas song, we know it as What Child is This? which has also been recorded by too many artists to list here.
For those of you who desire more history about Greensleeves, click HERE for an overview, HERE for Wikipedia, and HERE for an interesting bit of medieval history.
Back to my favorite song… “A Home in the Meadow”
The lyrics for A Home in the Meadow were written by Sammy Cahn and the song was performed by Debbie Reynolds in the 1962 western movie (and book by same title written by Louis L’Amour), How the West Was Won.
For your viewing and listening pleasure, here is the YouTube clip from the movie.
If you've not read the book How the West was Won AND watched the 1962 movie of the same name, you should remedy those most egregious oversights as soon as you can. You can thank me later. *wink*
Until next time,
Writing through history one romance upon a time
Writing through history one romance upon a time
Oh, Kaye, that's a good one! I love it! I'd forgotten it, it's been so long since I've seen that movie. And...I have not read the book, so yes, I must remedy.ReplyDelete
Greensleeves was my dad's favorite song. He'd just come in out of the blue and ask me to play it for him on the piano.
I think my favorite (do we have to just pick one?) of all time would have to be Unchained Melody--but ONLY the Righteous Brothers version. Bobby Hatfield...that man singing that song just evokes so much emotion. I did not realize that this song was actually written for a movie called Unchained. Now I want to go see if I can find that!
Yes... One song. lol We have so many that are meaningful in their own ways, but there is that ONE. I'm fond of Unchained Melody, also. The Righteous Brothers' version is my favorite too, and it pains me to admit this (especially to you) that their rendition is better than Marty Robbins'.
LOL, it's okay. I agree with you.Delete
Whew! That was one of the hardest confessions I've ever made. bwahahahaDelete
Some songs just aren't meant to be covered by anyone else. I have to say, I don't like Marty's Ribbon of Darkness as well as Gordon Lightfoot's original. But I think a lot of that is we're used to hearing the original and don't want anyone messing with it.Delete
That was such an interesting piece, Kaye. I believed "Greensleeves" was written by Henry VIII. I did know there were 2 versions; "Greensleeves" and What Child Is This. It is also one of my favorites, too. I can play it on the violin even now (so ya know it isn't too hard to play. LOL)ReplyDelete
I love music. I especially like music that has meaning for me. "Silent Night" a standard and beautiful song of Christmas brings back memories of my childhood, "Here Comes The Sun" by the Beatles lifts my spirits, and "Where Are You Now" by Enya is haunting and beautiful and makes me sad.
I loved your post, Kaye.
I'm always sad when someone says they don't enjoy music. I just can't relate. Music is so important for our emotional well-being. I am not musically talented other than I can play a harmonica, and I can carry a tune (but nothing to brag about). Music plays at my house more hours during the day than not.
Thanks so much for commenting.
Kaye, do you believe in Kismet? I do, and it happened again with your blog. Last week I spent ages on Google trying to find "the right song" for a wip and settled on one, kinda. Then reading your blog about Greensleeves and POW! I went and searched lyric versions and found the right set. THANK YOU! And my favorite song is Unchained Melody. Love Bobby Hatfield's version the best, but Leanne Rimes did an incredible version of it when she was ten. I'm trying to remember the name of another singer from back quite a few years who does an incredible version of it and he's also an amazing Elvis impersonator. Now I'll have to go find him. I always enjoy your posts, Kaye.ReplyDelete
Funny thing, I was out tonight with a friend who studied music and voice in college, and she and I were talking about Greensleeves. Some songs survive the test of time.ReplyDelete
"Unchained Melody" (Hatfield) was my husband's favorite. But I will stick to Aretha Franklin's "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face". I wonder what people will think of those songs a few hundred years from now?
But if we back up in time I can think of a few dozen - "Danny Boy". Music is part of our lives and probably it has been since man has learned to pick up a stick and beat on something.
Must go listen to a few favorites.
So many great melodies and this is a good one. If I had to pick, which as a former music major it would be hard, but "House of the Rising Sun" and "The Water is Wide". Both have such haunting melodies regardless of the words. DorisReplyDelete