"The Rising Of The Phoenix"
2021 release date
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The Story Behind the song
This song was going to be released on my debut EP in 2021. I released it as an online tribute to the family members and to the Province of Nova Scotia shortly after the April 18th - 19th, 2020 tragedies that happened in my hometown, Colchester County, Nova Scotia. The first pressing of CD singles were donated to family members and businesses throughout Colchester County to give away. The song reminds us - someday, we will all be reunited once again with those that we have lost. When the time comes, I'll be right home to you.
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“Down By The Greenwood Side” is a folklore murder ballad about a woman who gave birth to two illegitimate children in the woods, kills them, and buries them. On her return trip home, she sees children playing, and says that if they were hers, she would dress them up in silk so fine and take care of them. The children tell her that when they were hers, she murdered and buried them under a marble stone.
My grandmother sang “Down By The Greenwood Side” to me when I was 10 years old and I never forgot her words. I added the music to “Down By The Greenwood Side” when I was 14 years old and in 2020, I recorded my own version in the studio. I then did some research to find out if there was an author and I found different versions of the song. Harrison Birtwistle composed “Down By The Greenwood Side” for the opera and it was first performed on May 8, 1969 at the Festival Pavilion, West Pier, Brighton. The text comes from two sources, a ballad called “The Cruel Mother” and “Mummers’ Plays” (folk plays of the English countryside).
I found similar folklore versions: In 1963, Ian & Sylvia, Canadian folk and country singers, recorded “The Greenwood Sidi” In 1964, Judy Collins recorded the “Cruel Mother” and this song is also known as “The Greenwood Side” In 1967, Joan Baez recorded “The Greenwood Side” In 1967 Peggy Seeger recorded “The Cruel Mother”. 1979 Nana Mouskouri recorded “Down By The Greenwood Side” and is a similar version to Joan Baez. 2020
I recorded “Down By The Greenwood Side” the way my grandmother sang it to me and this is my tribute to my late grandmother, whom I loved very dearly.