Basic Poetics – Ballads (Edward, Edward)


AG: Yes, yes – Sure… [Allen begins singing, comparing the rhythms] – “I’m Madamoiselle from Armentieres, parley-voo, parley-voo” – “And what wul ye live to your bairns and your wife, Edward, Edward” – “I’m Madamoiselle from Armentieres, parley-voo, da da dadda da da da da, da da, da, da dadda dadda – da da da da dadda, inky dinky parley-voo” – I don’t think I’ve ever analyzed what that rhythm is, but..

So, “The warldis room, late them beg thrae life” – that’s a fantastic line. It goes right down your backbone – “The warldis room, late them beg thrae life” because it’s like the..all the tragedy and orphanage rolled into one line. The kids are going to have to go out and beg in “the world’s room” (also, it’s a very strange idea, the whole world is a room – because they say, they’re translating this as “through the world”..no, what is it?..”the wide world”, yes, But “the world’s room” is great.

Then, the last line, “Such counsels that ye gave me O”, is a very famous, much-quoted line , incidentally – “Such counsels that ye gave me O”…for.. I think it was a.. where was that? was it a play or a novel that I saw recently? – “Such counsels..” – “Sic counseils ye gave to me-O”.. What was it? Who? – I don’t know who used it. It’s recent.
[Editorial note, – Allen is most likely thinking of the poem by Robinson Jeffers, and the title given to his 1937 collectionSuch Counsels You Gave to Me & Other Poems]

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-six-and-three-quarter minutes in, and continuing until approximately thirty-two-and-a-half minutes in]

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