Joy Of Living
   (Ewan MacColl) videos
#1128: YouTube video by
gdgest ℗2011
~ Used with permission ~

Farewell you northern hills,
you mountains all, goodbye;
Moorlands and stony ridges,
crags and peaks, goodbye;
Glyder Fach farewell, Cul Beag,
Sca Fell, cloud-bearing Suilven;
Sun-warmed rock and the cold
of Bleaklow's frozen sea;
The snow and the wind and the rain
of hills and mountains;
Days in the sun and the tempered
wind and the air like wine;
And you drink and you drink
till you're drunk on the joy of living.

Farewell to you, my love,
my time is almost done;
Lie in my arms once more
until the darkness comes;
You filled all my days, held the
night at bay, dearest companion;
Years pass by and they're gone
with the speed of birds in flight;
Our life like the verse of a song
heard in the mountains;
Give me your hand then, love,
and join your voice with mine;
We'll sing of the hurt and the pain
and the joy of living.

Farewell to you, my chicks,
soon you must fly alone;
Flesh of my flesh, my future life,
bone of my bone;
May your wings be strong,
may your days be long,
safe be your journey.
Each of you bears inside of you
the gift of love;
May it bring you light and warmth
and the pleasure of living;
Eagerly savour each new day
and the taste of its mouth;
Never lose sight of the thrill
and the joy of living.

Take me to some high place
of heather, rock and ling;
Scatter my dust and ashes,
feed me to the wind.
So that I will be part of all you see,
the air you are breathing;
I'll be part of the curlew's cry
and the soaring hawk,
The blue milkwort and the sundew
hung with diamonds;
I'll be riding the gentle wind
that blows through your hair,
Reminding you how we shared
in the joy of living.

####.... Ewan MacColl ©1986, Ewan MacColl Ltd ....####
Note: This is one of MacColl's last songs and his farewell to the world. In it, a dying hiker says goodbye to all he holds dear: the hills, his wife and his children (Black And White - The Definitive Collection, 1990 CD, trk#20, Green Linnet Records, Nashville, TN, recorded at Falconer Studios, London, 1986); and (Black And White - The Definitive Collection, 2000 CD, trk#18, Cooking Vinyl Records, London, UK).

See more Ewan MacColl songs.

Sheila Kinsella reminded GEST that this tune was not composed by MacColl, but dates back to 1537 as per Francesco Spiga's page at CPDL which offers the following general information:
Title: Madonna tu mi fai lo scorrucciato
Composer: Anonymous
Lyricist: Anonymous
Number of voices: 3vv Voicings: STB or SSB
Genre: Secular, Folksong
Language: Neapolitan
Instruments: A-cappella
Published: 1537 in Canzoni villanesche alla napolitana, Naples: Johannes de Colonia.

And... Ontapic has a YouTube video featuring NCCP's variant which readily shows the source of MacColl's tune.

From Wikipedia:
Assynt - parish in west Sutherland, Highland, Scotland - north of Ullapool. In June 2005 the Glencanisp estate, including the mountains Suilven and Canisp and the neighbouring Drumrunie estate, with the mountains Cul Mòr and Cul Beag, were bought by the local community. The Assynt Foundation aims to create local employment and safeguard the natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of the community and future generations, and for the enjoyment of the wider public.
Bleaklow - high, largely peat covered, gritstone moorland, just north of Kinder Scout, across the Snake Pass, in the Derbyshire High Peak near the town of Glossop. It is the most easterly point in the British Isles over 2,000 feet and is the source of the River Derwent.
Curlew - common name for the bird genus Numenius, a group of eight wader species, characterised by a long slender downcurved bill and mainly brown plumage with little seasonal change.
Glyder Fach - mountain in Snowdonia, north-west Wales; the second highest of the Glyderau mountain group. It is a popular spot for climbers.
Kinder Scout - Kinder Scout is a moorland plateau and National Nature Reserve in the Dark Peak of the Derbyshire Peak District in England. Part of the moor, at 636 metres (2,087 ft) above sea level, is the highest point in the Peak District, the highest point in Derbyshire, and the highest point in the East Midlands.
Sca Fell - second highest mountain in England located in the English Lake District, a rural area in North West England.
Suilven - one of the most distinctive mountains in Scotland. Lying in a remote area in the west of Sutherland, it rises almost vertically from a wilderness landscape of moorland, bogs and lochans known as Inverpolly National Nature Reserve.

From BarberSASA / Scotland:
Cul Beag - at 769m (2525 ft) Cul Beag is the first mountain that overlooks the minor road to Achiltibuie. It is not as high as neighbour Cul Mor and does not possess the same degree of individuality that characterises other mountains in the region.

From Princeton University WordNet:
Ling - heather, Scots heather, broom, Calluna vulgaris (common Old World heath represented by many varieties; low evergreen grown widely in the northern hemisphere).

The video below features James Henry Miller [1915-1989] better known by his stage name Ewan MacColl, and his third wife {1977-1989} Peggy Seeger [b.1935] performing in the comfort of their home

#1579 video by
The Orchard Enterprises ℗2017
~ Used with permission ~


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