[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Ungar, Mason & friends — Ashokan Farewell
Album: The Civil War
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1242









Released: 1990
Length: 4:03
Plays (last 30 days): 1
(no lyrics available)
Comments (216)add comment
This is the closest to a wiki entry for this band:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Ungar
Wow just beautiful. Excellent segue from Turin Brakes.
Exemplifies the power of a beautiful melody.  Great inclusion B & R.

Absolutely beautiful on this Wednesday morning.

The first thing I thought of was the Ashokan Reservoir in the Catskills of NY, as Osedax alludes to and where I had been contracted to maintain equipment for the NY DEP. 

It's now late March 2019 in northern New England and the heavy snow is finally showing signs of leaving.

 DavidHunter wrote:

Not the Brits, the English…
 

Actually, many were punished by the English by transportation to the colonies and became indentured servants. These then eventually settled the frontier. The Appalachians resembled Highland Scotland. This was particularly the case after the Battle of Culloden. Some may have tried to establish good relations with the tribes, but again, English desire for more territory and control contributed to conflict. Add to that, the proxy war between the English and the French.... 
 kingart wrote:

Many southerners were of Irish and Scottish heritage. They brought their tunes and culture with them.  Many had left Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries because the Brits had oppressed them and stole their land.  For various reasons many migrated to territory south of Mason Dixon line — and stole the land and oppressed people. Very sentimental. 
 
Not the Brits, the English…
Sadness, hope, lament eternalized.  
I just finished watching Ken Burns documentary last night. I'm making coffee in the morning, this comes on and I thought gee that sounds like... and so it was.
Well that was quite lovely indeed. 
As this played, I read tweets aloud from @CaptAndrewLuck.  It was glorious. 
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I know this tune as the traditional Scottish folk song "Soft Lowland Tongue of the Borders", my mum used to sing it to me as a kid. Not sure how "Ashokan Farewell" and it have become intertwined?

 
Many southerners were of Irish and Scottish heritage. They brought their tunes and culture with them.  Many had left Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries because the Brits had oppressed them and stole their land.  For various reasons many migrated to territory south of Mason Dixon line — and stole the land and oppressed people. Very sentimental. 
 WhiteWater wrote:

To my understanding, a large amount of American Appalachian folk music has its basis in Scottish and Irish tunes.

 
Very true. You can see it in clogging vs. Irish step dancing.  So may deep pockets of Irish and Scots settled in what were once very hard to reach areas of KY, TN, VA and WV. 
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I know this tune as the traditional Scottish folk song "Soft Lowland Tongue of the Borders", my mum used to sing it to me as a kid. Not sure how "Ashokan Farewell" and it have become intertwined?

 
maybe Jay Ungay played around with it, see link
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashokan_Farewell
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I know this tune as the traditional Scottish folk song "Soft Lowland Tongue of the Borders", my mum used to sing it to me as a kid. Not sure how "Ashokan Farewell" and it have become intertwined?

 
To my understanding, a large amount of American Appalachian folk music has its basis in Scottish and Irish tunes.
I know this tune as the traditional Scottish folk song "Soft Lowland Tongue of the Borders", my mum used to sing it to me as a kid. Not sure how "Ashokan Farewell" and it have become intertwined?
Just played this last night on CD.  Achingly beautiful.

Picking this tune as the backdrop clinched Ken Burns' Civil War as possibly the best historical documentary of all time

If you liked that, by the way, check out Apocalypse WWI.  Burns-inspired, much shorter, but equally impactful about a nearly-forgotten war that changed the face of the world completely


{#High-five}

 

timandjuliet wrote:

Dearest Martha. Tomorrow, I go into battle for what may be the last time. If I do not return to you, please know this. The guy will be there on Thursday to fix the furnace. No matter what he tells you, we don't need a new one.

ease their pain...
The beginning of this tune reminds me of this...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpZbG6gMoO4
They's good hosses...
Yep... find my way magnetically...
 LastGaspMusic wrote:
Learned this on my octave mandolin... farewell civil war heroes .. God bless all of you...

 
All of you
Learned this on my octave mandolin... farewell civil war heroes .. God bless all of you...
I cannot believe I just heard this on RP! Mason and Ungar are one of my favorites. Keep them in the mix!
For some reason this always strikes me a little mawkish, like what a computer would compose if you said 'plaintive bluegrass waltz'. Then again a lot of country and bluegrass strikes me as primitive stuff the performer invests with intense meaning and feeling...but when it works it works I guess.
 Hannio wrote:

And a shout out to all the northerners who point the accusing finger southward to deflect attention away from the racism and bigotry in their own backyard.

 
Dude, you live in some kind  of alternate reality.
Such a lovely song, so sad and haunting.
 CHuLoYo wrote:

Right now there still exists racism in dixieland 

 
True.  I've met with southerners who will tell you that slavery was good for the slaves.
 Hannio wrote:

And a shout out to all the northerners who point the accusing finger southward to deflect attention away from the racism and bigotry in their own backyard.

 
Right now there still exists racism in dixieland 
 Hannio wrote:

And a shout out to all the northerners who point the accusing finger southward to deflect attention away from the racism and bigotry in their own backyard.

 
Worse.  The Canadians.....
hauntingly beautiful
Heavens - wars broken out again.....
 Sasha2001 wrote:

I'd like to send a shout-out to all the Southern Governors who would like for us to believe that the Confederacy stood for noble things and how tourists to those states should pay homage to that misunderstood time.

Oh, and I'd like for all the ghosts of slaves and all the ancestors of slaves to simply forget that bit of nastiness that led up to the Civil War.  I was all a misunderstanding.



 
And a shout out to all the northerners who point the accusing finger southward to deflect attention away from the racism and bigotry in their own backyard.
A lovely 'Highland' lilt amongst that - very beautiful, thank you Bill
 unclehud wrote:
 Sasha2001 wrote:

I'd like to send a shout-out to all the Southern Governors who would like for us to believe that the Confederacy stood for noble things and how tourists to those states should pay homage to that misunderstood time.

Oh, and I'd like for all the ghosts of slaves and all the ancestors of slaves to simply forget that bit of nastiness that led up to the Civil War.  I was all a misunderstanding.


....................................................................................................................................
(Apologies for the long post; Mandela died yesterday and I'm in a strange mood today.)
 
 ....................................................................................................................................

Sasha2001, with all respect, no one should ever forget slavery and the "bit of nastiness" our nation went through to eliminate that affront against humanity.  We should also constantly remind ourselves that it took another 100 years before basic Constitutional rights were provided to the descendants of slaves.

But I am a son of the Southland, so please allow my differing viewpoint.  Not saying it's right or wrong; just different.

I do not own slaves; neither did my parents nor my grandparents (decent records not available beyond them), nor any Southern governors since 1865.  Do not stereotype Southerners, and (my god!) avoid applying the broad brush of racism to all of us.

The stance taken by the South in 1861 was to support slavery — no attempt to dodge that.  The raw fact is that most Southern plantations could not operate profitably without free labor.  If slavery was illegal, the Southern economy was doomed to fail, as clearly demonstrated for 75 years after the War.

Was all this "nastiness" a complete loss?  No; emphatically no!  Look up "state's rights", "nullification", "voter eligibility", and "separate but equal" for examples of how we have moved forward.   You can also credit advances in weaponry to this war: repeating firearms, more accurate artillery, steel (iron) warships, and the invention of submarines.  (Even if you oppose war, those advances are a fact.)  And personally, I believe this war solidly cemented the Union for ever and ever until the end of time.

As for tourism, many of the battlefields from the War between the States are now US national parks and landmarks — that is, operated, maintained, and staffed by 21st-century employees of the United States of America.  I hope they believe, as I do, that these locations are significant to our national history.  Americans on both sides shed blood, lost limbs, and died.

I have visited several of these battlefields and am always overwhelmed by the imagined cacophony and confusion of a life-and-death battle contrasted against the pastoral quiet of the present-day rural settings.  If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to visit one, too.  They are holy places, consecrated by the blood of those who helped form my nation as it is today.

Who knows?  Was our painful struggle necessary for the end of apartheid and the now-universal concept of human rights?

With love from the heart of Yankeeland, unclehud



 
Sorry Hud, but citing advances in weaponry and warfare as a benefit?

That's just nuts - like saying our modern "food" supply has advanced diseases and so the economic value of "treating" them.   
Wow. Stopped me in my tracks. Quite beautiful.
Mostly I work away while RP soothes my mind. Occasionally I can't help rocking a bit. 

But every once in a while, the message in my headphones says "Stop what you are doing. Be still. Sit calmly for a minute."

This is one of those moments.
Lincoln was shot today 150 years ago. Fitting song for a remembrance.
 Old_Pat wrote:
mind-boggling. lovely. absolutely stunning.total encapsulates the romance and resulting sadness of that horrible period of american history

 
I didn't know how to say it, but you said it perfectly.
A tearful song for the very sad day Abraham Lincoln was shot 150 uears ago.
 v73c wrote:
Yuck! So long RP. See you again when there is music.
 
So long v73c.  See you again when you are older and mellower (like some of us...)!
Very nice, IMO.
Should definitely follow this with "If wishes were horses' by Robin Williamson.
Yuck! So long RP. See you again when there is music.
Funny, I just finished watching the 1st episode (or "inning") of Ken Burn's "Baseball", and decided to turn on some RP, and you started playing this.
mind-boggling. lovely. absolutely stunning.total encapsulates the romance and resulting sadness of that horrible period of american history
It reminds me of "Streets of Laredo"
God, what a sad song.  Indelibly associated with Ken Burns.  Great track to make us remember.
 fiddler wrote:
This is one of the few tunes that fits just about anywhere. Simple, sweet, and timeless. It's not difficult to play, and I've played it (on my fiddle) for countless settings  - weddings, funerals, church, strolling...a testimony to the power of melody. I'm glad we are fortunate enough for Mr. Ungar to have plucked this one from the cosmos. 

 


This is one of the few tunes that fits just about anywhere. Simple, sweet, and timeless. It's not difficult to play, and I've played it (on my fiddle) for countless settings  - weddings, funerals, church, strolling...a testimony to the power of melody. I'm glad we are fortunate enough for Mr. Ungar to have plucked this one from the cosmos. 
Regardless of when it was actually written, it certainly brings to mind the clear image of the many who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save this great land from self destruction.  A hauntingly beautiful tune that seems forever linked to the Civil War thanks to Ken Burns.
 Sasha2001 wrote:

I'd like to send a shout-out to all the Southern Governors who would like for us to believe that the Confederacy stood for noble things and how tourists to those states should pay homage to that misunderstood time.

Oh, and I'd like for all the ghosts of slaves and all the ancestors of slaves to simply forget that bit of nastiness that led up to the Civil War.  I was all a misunderstanding.


....................................................................................................................................
(Apologies for the long post; Mandela died yesterday and I'm in a strange mood today.)
 
 ....................................................................................................................................

Sasha2001, with all respect, no one should ever forget slavery and the "bit of nastiness" our nation went through to eliminate that affront against humanity.  We should also constantly remind ourselves that it took another 100 years before basic Constitutional rights were provided to the descendants of slaves.

But I am a son of the Southland, so please allow my differing viewpoint.  Not saying it's right or wrong; just different.

I do not own slaves; neither did my parents nor my grandparents (decent records not available beyond them), nor any Southern governors since 1865.  Do not stereotype Southerners, and (my god!) avoid applying the broad brush of racism to all of us.

The stance taken by the South in 1861 was to support slavery -- no attempt to dodge that.  The raw fact is that most Southern plantations could not operate profitably without free labor.  If slavery was illegal, the Southern economy was doomed to fail, as clearly demonstrated for 75 years after the War.

Was all this "nastiness" a complete loss?  No; emphatically no!  Look up "state's rights", "nullification", "voter eligibility", and "separate but equal" for examples of how we have moved forward.   You can also credit advances in weaponry to this war: repeating firearms, more accurate artillery, steel (iron) warships, and the invention of submarines.  (Even if you oppose war, those advances are a fact.)  And personally, I believe this war solidly cemented the Union for ever and ever until the end of time.

As for tourism, many of the battlefields from the War between the States are now US national parks and landmarks -- that is, operated, maintained, and staffed by 21st-century employees of the United States of America.  I hope they believe, as I do, that these locations are significant to our national history.  Americans on both sides shed blood, lost limbs, and died.

I have visited several of these battlefields and am always overwhelmed by the imagined cacophony and confusion of a life-and-death battle contrasted against the pastoral quiet of the present-day rural settings.  If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to visit one, too.  They are holy places, consecrated by the blood of those who helped form my nation as it is today.

Who knows?  Was our painful struggle necessary for the end of apartheid and the now-universal concept of human rights?

With love from the heart of Yankeeland, unclehud


What a pleasant surprise to hear this on here!
 Grammarcop wrote:
Damn it, Bill! I'm trying to get stuff done!

Sigh. 

 
Amen
I'm always surprised at people's linkage of this song to the Civil War.  This tune was written in 1982 at the end of a summer dance camp held at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY.  To quote Jay Ungar:  "At the end of the third summer of Ashokan in '82, I was particularly feeling the post-camp syndrome of finding it hard to return to what we mistakenly call the 'real world'.  I really missed the people and the joy of having music and dance so much a part of my daily life.  ....each summer when these things end, you don't really know if it'll happen again.  So one morning I picked up my fiddle and started playing the saddest lament I could come up with -- as a way of saying goodbye to the summer."

The cornerstone to the soundtrack to Ken Burn's The Civil War came later....
Hard to hear without cultural references coming unbidden to mind. However, taken as a whole on it's own without being chopped to fit old photographs or diary readings, it is even better.
Damn it, Bill! I'm trying to get stuff done!

Sigh. 
RP ain't a good place for politics, Sasha, but I hear what you're sayin'.....  We can take pride that the laws and, in polite company, the language of our nation have come a very long way.

 
Sasha2001 wrote:

I'd like to send a shout-out to all the Southern Governors who would like for us to believe that the Confederacy stood for noble things and how tourists to those states should pay homage to that misunderstood time.

Oh, and I'd like for all the ghosts of slaves and all the ancestors of slaves to simply forget that bit of nastiness that led up to the Civil War.  I was all a misunderstanding.


 

I'd like to send a shout-out to all the Southern Governors who would like for us to believe that the Confederacy stood for noble things and how tourists to those states should pay homage to that misunderstood time.

Oh, and I'd like for all the ghosts of slaves and all the ancestors of slaves to simply forget that bit of nastiness that led up to the Civil War.  I was all a misunderstanding.


 OCDHG wrote:

That's the problem with fiddle tunes... they all sound alike ... as anyone who ever tried to learn to play old-timey fiddle music will tell you.  It's really amazing how similar many of them are to each other.  Maybe all music is that way, and it only stands out more on the fiddle, I dunno.
:{#Boohoo}
 
Four strings, short fretboard, lack of variation in bowing tension = limited range of tonal separation. Or something like that.

I don't get the "Waltzing Matilda" comparison, though. Seems like a bit of a stretch. {#No}
 DaveInVA wrote:
Absolutely fabulous tune to wash the nasty Radiohead out of my ears....
 
indeed.  yes indeed.
 suzebee wrote:
I just love you, RP. Only you.
 
What she said {#Arrowu}  {#Smile}
{#Cry} Beautifully captures the time period.

I just love you, RP. Only you.


Such an excellent documentary about incredible people.


 Kombisaurus wrote:
Ashokan Farewell is a beatiful song, but it sounds very much like a famous song about the Australian bush called Walzting Matilda which is often used as a substitute to the Australian national anthem.

Waltzing Matilda was originally written as a poem in 1887 by Banjo Patterson and didn't have music put with it until 1903.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltzing_matilda

Here's a youtube vid of Walzting Matilda played as a simple instrumental to compare with Ashokan Farewell:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfPcfRnwPX4&feature=related

And here's a more up-beat version with lyrics which is how it is more commonly played:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwvazMc5EfE&feature=related

 
That's the problem with fiddle tunes... they all sound alike ... as anyone who ever tried to learn to play old-timey fiddle music will tell you.  It's really amazing how similar many of them are to each other.  Maybe all music is that way, and it only stands out more on the fiddle, I dunno.
:{#Boohoo}


I got up from the other room just to listen. I felt the need to pay homage to such a beautiful and melancholy tune.
lovely
 DaveInVA wrote:
Absolutely fabulous tune to wash the nasty Radiohead out of my ears....
 
you are truly an evolved form of person to encompass the states of Taste and No-Taste in the same point in time and space!!
{#Cry}

I see dead people!
Gets my complete attention every time I hear it.  Beautiful.
 jmurphyjr wrote:
Caught me offguard in the playlist, but as it went on my heart ached with those sweet strings. Ahhh, that's why we have Bill back there pulling the strings. Great job again today!
 
what murphy said.........

 lwilkinson wrote:
Sounds amazingly like a touch of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.{#Boohoo}
 

That would be nice to hear.  Love that Texas swing.
Absolutely fabulous tune to wash the nasty Radiohead out of my ears....
Ashokan Farewell is a beatiful song, but it sounds very much like a famous song about the Australian bush called Walzting Matilda which is often used as a substitute to the Australian national anthem.

Waltzing Matilda was originally written as a poem in 1887 by Banjo Patterson and didn't have music put with it until 1903.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltzing_matilda

Here's a youtube vid of Walzting Matilda played as a simple instrumental to compare with Ashokan Farewell:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfPcfRnwPX4&feature=related

And here's a more up-beat version with lyrics which is how it is more commonly played:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwvazMc5EfE&feature=related

 timandjuliet wrote:
Dearest Martha. Tomorrow, I go into battle for what may be the last time. If I do not return to you, please know this. The guy will be there on Thursday to fix the furnace. No matter what he tells you, we don't need a new one.
 

Best post yet.
Sounds amazingly like a touch of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.{#Boohoo}
 jhorton wrote:
Pain, loss, melancholy.........but then hope as well. Truly a masterpiece.
 
Beautifully stated. I am fighting back the urge to weep at my desk.

Just gorgeous.

{#Cry}  {#Biggrin}
Pure music that evokes emotional response... classic.
Caught me offguard in the playlist, but as it went on my heart ached with those sweet strings. Ahhh, that's why we have Bill back there pulling the strings. Great job again today!
When we hear so many songs with lyrics, we forget how amazing music was when it had to be protrayed through instruments, rather than voices.
Goosebumps
Music to one of the most tender and sad love letters ever....
 JSteven3 wrote:
So beautiful it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

 
Not every time for me, but sometimes. {#Yes}
It just always makes me stop and listen.  9>10
Thank you.
This one never gets old. I can hear the words of Mary Chesnut, from Burns' film, every time it starts. Masterful use of music to reinforce the spoken word. {#Clap}
 nate_pitzer wrote:
Just a reminder from Wikipedia:
"Viewers of the The Civil War frequently and erroneously believe the melody is a traditional tune that was played at the time of the Civil War. In fact, it is the only modern composition on the Burns documentary's soundtrack; all other music is authentic 19th century music."

It's ironic that one of the songs most identified with the Civil war was composed without the Civil War in mind in 1982, and is only associated to the Civil War as a result of Ken Burns wonderul documentary.  It's a beautiful piece though, and fits the emotion and feeling of the Civil War perfectly.
 
ortallcowgirl wrote:
I think this is the music they would have listened too when they buried their dead after the battles.  I love civil war history, seen many battle fields and read many books, so this song is a perfect fit for bringing up those emotions. 

Great choice, I have not heard this song in over 10 years!  But i recognized it right away.
 
Thank you for the info.it's appreciated.............{#Boohoo}
 


Just a reminder from Wikipedia:
"Viewers of the The Civil War frequently and erroneously believe the melody is a traditional tune that was played at the time of the Civil War. In fact, it is the only modern composition on the Burns documentary's soundtrack; all other music is authentic 19th century music."

It's ironic that one of the songs most identified with the Civil war was composed without the Civil War in mind in 1982, and is only associated to the Civil War as a result of Ken Burns wonderul documentary.  It's a beautiful piece though, and fits the emotion and feeling of the Civil War perfectly.
 
ortallcowgirl wrote:
I think this is the music they would have listened too when they buried their dead after the battles.  I love civil war history, seen many battle fields and read many books, so this song is a perfect fit for bringing up those emotions. 

Great choice, I have not heard this song in over 10 years!  But i recognized it right away.
 

KevH wrote:
It stopped me in my tracks. Quite beautiful! Thanks Bill.

Perfect comment.

Extraordinary. Gets you right in the gut.

 KevH wrote:
It stopped me in my tracks.  Quite beautiful!  Thanks Bill.
 
Couldn't agree more...a minute in I always ask myself "what is this?".  It is so very beautiful, melancholic but hopeful. 


I think this is the music they would have listened too when they buried their dead after the battles.  I love civil war history, seen many battle fields and read many books, so this song is a perfect fit for bringing up those emotions. 

Great choice, I have not heard this song in over 10 years!  But i recognized it right away.
I just wanted to say that this was "pleasant" and "haunting".
This documentary was a big spark in piquing my interest in military history. Great music too.
So beautiful it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

Oh, if only I could make my fiddle sound this sweet!
A wonderful tune that is associated with such a profound time.  Always makes me stop and listen...{#Laughing}
It stopped me in my tracks.  Quite beautiful!  Thanks Bill.
This one always gives me chills - so haunting and bittersweet.
I'm having the Ken Burns effect as I seem to be slowly moving into my computer screen....
loaded this on my ipod just today...incredible

Thanks so much for playing this beautiful, haunting song.


This is pleasant, but it's making me feel sleepy...
This entire soundtrack is excellent. I've had it since it first came out. I've studied the Civil War off-and-on since high school. This is a masterfully done documentary by Ken Burns. Well worth purchasing the DVD's and soundtrack.
Still heartbreaking.
had to bump it up to a 10, because if this isn't "godlike," not sure what is.
Evocative and bittersweet.

9.
I wish I had known about this one, to play at my husbands funeral.
Pain, loss, melancholy.........but then hope as well. Truly a masterpiece.
Good choice Bill ... and thanks for the info phlattop
Really nice
I've got this on a compilation of Ungar and Mason titled "Harvest Home". The rest of the music on it is quite good. Worth checking out.
War is not beautiful, but this song is. If only it could wipe out the destruction caused by war...
Beautiful. Everytime I hear this, I can see the shaky black and white films of the gray-bearded vets meeting at The Angle at Gettysburg. "Was it not real?"
listen to 'American Anthem' by Norah Jones from Burns' latest project.
This Nathan Bedford Forrest? (click here) I agree on the Shelby Foote, though.
Fell in love at the first hearing of this song...
This is truly lovely. If you need violin or fiddle music to make your spine tingle then try Aly Bain and his old pal Phil Cunningham - they play like this (Scottish, Quebec, and more). Its a tonic.