The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117495   Message #2532375
Posted By: Nerd
05-Jan-09 - 05:20 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Well below the valley - discuss!
Subject: RE: Origins: Well below the valley - discuss!
Okay, here it is: I got it off Amazon's "Search this book" feature, but had to type it over.

It's from The Glenbuchat Ballads, edited by David Buchan and James Moreira, pages 89-90. It originally appeared in volume 2 of the Glenbuchat folios.

To put this in context, these manuscripts were written out, probably in 1818, by Rev. Robert Scott of the parish of Glenbuchat. Scott does not say if he got the song directly from oral tradition (from a singer or reciter), but the editors make a good case that he probably got most of the songs that way. Scott provided no tunes. This is considered one of the most important ballad manuscript collections that Child did not have access to when compiling the Child Ballads.

The ballad singer seems to have been inconsistent on whether to sing "maid" or "maiden," and Scott inconsistent on whether the contraction for "ye are" should be "ye're" or "yere."

^^
The May's to the well to wash and to wring
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
An' ay so sweetly did she sing
I am the fair maid of Coldingham

O by there cam' an eldren man
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
O gie me a drink o' your cauld stream
An' ye be the fair maiden of Coldingham

My golden cup is down the strand
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
Of my cold water you shall drink nane
Tho' I be the fair maiden of Coldingham

O fair may bethink ye again
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
Gie a drink o' cauld water to an auld man
If ye be the fair maid of Coldingham

O she sware by the sun and the moon
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
That all her cups were flown to Rome
Yet she was the fair maid of Coldingham

O seven bairns hae ye born
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
An' as many lives hae ye forlorn
An' ye're nae the fair maiden of Coldingham

There's three o' them in your bower floor
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
It gars ye fear when you wouldna fear
An ye're nae the fair maiden of Coldingham

There's ane o' them in yon well stripe
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
And twa o' them in the garden dyke
An' yere nae the fair maiden of Coldingham

There's ane o' them in your bed feet
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
It gars ye wake when ye should sleep
An' yere nae the fair maid of Coldingham

Ye'll be seven lang years a stane in a cairn
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
An' seven years ye'll go wi' bairn
An ye're nae the fair maiden of Coldingham

Ye'll be seven years a sacran bell
The primrose o' the wood wants a name
An' ither seven the cook in hell
An ye're nae the fair maiden of Coldingham