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Req: Lacemakers' songs collected by John Plummer

GUEST,David Hopkin 31 Aug 16 - 11:57 AM
Joe Offer 31 Aug 16 - 12:09 PM
maeve 31 Aug 16 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,AR 03 Sep 16 - 06:58 AM
Joe Offer 03 Sep 16 - 11:21 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'Betsy's Dream': Lacemakers' song
From: GUEST,David Hopkin
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 11:57 AM

This series of queries concerns titles of songs sung by lacemakers in and around Kettering in the mid-nineteenth century, collected by John Plummer.

John Plummer (1831-1914) trained as a staymaker in Kettering before turning to journalism. In Britain and later in Australia he was an enthusiastic promoter of 'self-help' over other forms of labour activism. (There is an entry for him in the Australian Dictionary of National Biography: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/plummer-john-8066).

He wrote a number of articles about lacemaking in Northamptonshire and claims to have "formed a small collection of lace-makers' songs, which has, unfortunately, become lost."

However he gives the names and sometimes a few lines of some of these songs. They include well-known items such as 'Long Lankin', 'Hugh of Lincoln', 'Death and the Maiden', but also a number of song titles or verses which I've not been able to identify. I'd be grateful if anyone knows anything more about the following six items. I've created a separate query for each title, but the text of this request is identical in each.

1) 'The Lord of Burleigh'. This ballad tells the same story as Tennyson's poem of the same name in which a rich lord pretends to be poor in order to win a woman's heart. Apparently, though, Plummer's version was in a very different tenor to Tennyson's. It starts: "A noble lord a-wooing went,/ A-wooing went my lord;/ She was a maid of low degree,/ And would not speak a word."
2) 'Blackberry Nan'. The first lines were "Blackberry Nan, Blackberry Nan/ Killed a cat in her milking can."
3) 'The Squire's Ghost'. The title is all the information Plummer provides.
4) 'Christian and the Money-lender'. The title is all the information Plummer provides.
5) 'Betsy's Dream'. The title is all the information Plummer provides.
6) A ballad which alludes to Simon de St. Liz (presumably Simon de Senlis, first earl of Northampton and 2nd earl of Huntingdon. I'm guessing this might refer to a Robin Hood ballad).

It's not clear whether Plummer had actually heard songs 3-6 or just knew of their existence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Betsy's Dream': Lacemakers' song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 12:09 PM

Hi, David, Six threads all beginning with the same message is too confusing. I combined them.
Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Simon de St Liz: lacemakers' song
From: maeve
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 01:30 PM

What a great line of inquiry! I'll be most interested in the results.


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Subject: RE: Req: Lacemakers' songs collected by John Plummer
From: GUEST,AR
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 06:58 AM

Just conjecture, but perhaps 'The Squire's Ghost' is or a version of Child 265 'The Knight's Ghost', or a version of 'The Holland Handkerchief'?


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Subject: RE: Req: Lacemakers' songs collected by John Plummer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 11:21 PM

Try again. Refresh.


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