The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13405   Message #1007561
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
24-Aug-03 - 09:04 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Flandyke Shore (Nic Jones)
Time to re-visit this old thread with further information.

Emily Lyle (Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs, Scottish Text Society 1996) prints a Scottish version, The Flanders Shore, noted by Crawfurd from Mrs Cunningham of Newton Ayr in January 1827 (text only). Lyle comments (vol.2 xxiii-xxiv):

"The Flanders Shore... is a modernisation of an earlier song. The related story which appears on a blackletter broadside in the Pepys Collection with the title The Unnatural Mother: or, The two Loyal Lovers Fatal Overthrow apparently dates from the time of the war with Flanders in 1693. This broadside had been published in facsimile in Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge: The Pepys Ballads ed. W. G. Day (Cambridge 1987) 4.72. A later chapbook form called The Ploughman's Love to the Farmer's Daughter, to which the oral version is closer, is printed here in the Appendix (No. 1)."

Here is the chapbook text quoted.


(Chapbook text. Printed J. & M. Robertson, Saltmarket, Glasgow, 1802.)

When first a-courting I did go,
I lov'd a fair maid as my life,
I often told her I did her love, I did her love,
but I never could gain her for my wife.

I serv'd her father winters seven,
from rising sun till nine at night,
Duly and truly as my life, as my life,
but I ne'er could gain my heart's delight.

I told her father secretly,
his daughter I did highly prize,
He lock'd her up in a room so high, in a room so high,
then first began my miseries.

I went to my love's chamber door,
where oft-times I had been before,
For to let her know and understand, and understand,
I was going to some foreign shore.

On shipboard I then went straightway,
and sailed for fair Flander's shore;
I little thought what should me befal, what should me befal,
that I ne'er should see my love more.

When to fair Flanders I did come,
No rest nor comfort could I find,
Tho' I did stand with glass in hand, glass in hand,
still my true love ran in my mind.

I took a pistol in my hand,
and charged it couragiously,
I shot a bullet into fair England, into fair England,
where I thought my true love might be.

When to fair England I return'd,
I met her father in the street,
My daughter is dead, said he, dead, said he,
all for the sake of loving thee.

I went to my love's chamber door,
where oft-times I had been before,
There sprung a light from my love's clothes,
just like the morning sun when rose.

All young men who a courting go,
who never made the bells to ring,
Go no more into shady groves, into shady groves,
for to hear the sweet nightingale sing.

The Robinson Library, University of Newcastle. Chapbooks, vol. 12, no. 30: The Kentish Tragedy; or the Constant Lovers Overthrow. To which are added, The Hogg's Tub. The Ploughman's Love to the Farmer's Daughter. The Shepherdess Lamenting her Drowned Lover. Glasgow. Printed by J. & M. Robertson, Saltmarket 1802. Pp. 6-7.

I'd say this answers the questions we've sometimes had here as to the meaning of the fragment found by Hammond and recorded by Nic Jones (with a little thought it can be sung to the same tune, too). It also makes the Hutchings-While "happy ending" look even more fatuous than it did already. When I get a look at the Pepys facsimile I'll add any further details that seem useful, but that may not be soon.