Open downloadable pdf file: Kostentyn-Constantine
Version played on bagpipes by Merv Davey Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Battle of the Somme commemoration St Petrock’s Church Bodmin 6th July 2016.
Communicated by James Roberts of Constantine to M H N Cuthbert Atchley who published an arrangement for 4 voices in the Old Cornwall Society Journal 1936 (Vol 2, no. 6 pages 11-13). James Roberts was born in 1839 and in 1936 it was described as having been sung “70 or 75 years ago as the coffin was carried from the church to the grave side, or at the grave side only”. The original 19th century words were taken from common inscriptions on grave stones but Atchley together with a vicar from Constantine, the Rev. Charles Plank, changed the words from the second into the third
person in order to make them suitable as a hymn. They also substituted the last verse, which they found muddled, with one from another Cornish gravestone. The original words were not recorded. In 1962 both Robert Morton Nance and A.S.D. Smith published Cornish versions of the lyrics in the Old Cornwall Society Journal. Both are loose translations and make an interesting comparison in the different style of Cornish used by Nance and Smith. The melody has been drawn into Cornish instrumental tradition and was noted by the Racca Project 1995 / 1997. As an instrumental the tune parts “A” and “B” tend to be repeated to make a 30 bar tune. It was played at the Battle of the Somme commemoration service for the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry at St Petrocks Church Bodmin 1st July 2016.
Old Cornwall, 1936, Vol 2, No 12 pages 11-13
Old Cornwall, 1962, Vol 6, No 2, page 61
Old Cornwall, 1962, Vol 6, No 3, page 119 Racca, Cornish Tunes for Cornish Sessions (Calstock,
Racca Project,1997) no 160