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Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)

DigiTrad:
FATAL FLOWER GARDEN
IT RAINED A MIST
LITTLE SIR HUGH
SIR HUGH, OR THE JEW'S DAUGHTER


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Controversial songs - Little Sir Hugh (20)
Req only: Rains a Mist (closed) (3) (closed)


GUEST,Medb Ni' Loughlin 07 Nov 01 - 01:38 AM
masato sakurai 07 Nov 01 - 01:57 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Nov 01 - 03:32 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 07 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Guest 07 Nov 01 - 06:01 PM
Sorcha 07 Nov 01 - 06:31 PM
Sorcha 07 Nov 01 - 06:37 PM
Sourdough 07 Nov 01 - 07:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 01 - 08:27 PM
Sorcha 07 Nov 01 - 09:34 PM
masato sakurai 08 Nov 01 - 09:46 AM
Bennet Zurofsky 08 Nov 01 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Medb Ni'Loughlin 08 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 08 Nov 01 - 05:30 PM
John MacKenzie 08 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM
Joe_F 08 Nov 01 - 06:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 01 - 06:22 PM
Sourdough 08 Nov 01 - 07:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Nov 01 - 08:26 PM
Paul from Hull 08 Nov 01 - 08:44 PM
GUEST 09 Nov 01 - 02:15 PM
Snuffy 09 Nov 01 - 05:27 PM
Abby Sale 09 Nov 01 - 09:03 PM
Abby Sale 09 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 01 - 09:17 PM
Abby Sale 10 Nov 01 - 11:18 AM
weepiper 10 Nov 01 - 12:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Nov 01 - 01:07 PM
Joe_F 10 Nov 01 - 05:42 PM
Matthew Edwards 10 Nov 01 - 07:30 PM
Abby Sale 10 Nov 01 - 10:13 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Jun 07 - 01:37 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Jun 07 - 01:50 PM
oggie 07 Jun 07 - 02:15 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Jun 07 - 02:59 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jun 07 - 03:15 PM
Richie 21 Sep 15 - 12:05 PM
Richie 21 Sep 15 - 02:32 PM
Richie 21 Sep 15 - 03:01 PM
Richie 24 Sep 15 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,HiLo 25 Sep 15 - 09:46 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Sep 15 - 11:16 AM
Richie 25 Sep 15 - 02:43 PM
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Subject: Little sir Hugh
From: GUEST,Medb Ni' Loughlin
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 01:38 AM

I would like to have the lyrics to the version of Little sir Hugh that Steel Eye Span does. The lyrics are rather different than the ones I found here when I searched Little sir Hugh. If you have them please help. many thanks, Medb (pronounced Maeve)

See also: Stuck Pig - enlighten me


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE SIR HUGH (from Steeleye Span)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 01:57 AM

Little Sir Hugh

Chorus
Mother mother make my bed
Make for me a winding sheet
Wrap me up in a cloak of gold
See if I can sleep
Four and twenty bonny bonny boys playing at the hall
Along came little Sir Hugh, he played with them all
He kicked the ball very high, he kicked the ball so low,
He kicked it over a castle wall where no one dared to go

Out came a lady gay, she was dressed in green
"Come in, come in little Sir Hugh, fetch your ball again"
"I won't come in, I can't come in without my play mates all
For if I should I know you would cause my blood to fall"

Chorus

She took him by the milk white hand, led him to the hall
Till they came to a stone chamber where no one could hear him call
She sat him on a golden chair, she gave him sugar sweet
She lay him on a dressing board and stabbed him like a sheep

Out came the thick thick blood, out came the thin
Out came the bonny heart's blood till there was none within
She took him by the yellow hair and also by the feet
She threw him in the old draw well fifty fathoms deep

Chorus

From: STEELEYE SPAN LYRICS site.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 03:32 PM

Try looking for a thread asking for lyrics to "It rained a mist" from the 6th October 2000 it is obviously related. I'm sorry but I don't know how to do blue clickys. Jock


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM

You should not sing this song without being aware of its blatant anti-semitism. Little Sir Hugh is the traditional English rendition of the blood libel that Jews require the fresh blood of a child in order to bake the Matza necessary for the observance of Passover. This myth is, in turn, directly linked to the idea that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. The link is between the murder of an innocent child and the murder of Jesus as well as the Pascal sacrifice story related in Exodus. (The Jews slaughtered a lamb and made a mark on their door so that when the Angel of Death came to slaughter the first-born sons he would "pass over" the homes of the Jews). Jesus, of course, is often referred to in a metaphoric manner as the pascal lamb. Hence, the old gospel refrain "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?" According to the blood libel, Jews "sacrifice" an innocent gentile child in lieu of a lamb every year as part of the Passover observance.

Some versions of Little Sir Hugh are called "The Jew's Daughter" or otherwise explicitly refer to the Jews. Even in the Steeleye Span version it is clear that a ritual slaughter of the child is taking place, even though Jews are not specifically referenced. It is my understanding that this ballad purports to be based upon the events of the York massacre (pogrom) which directly preceded the expulsion of the Jews from England in the middle ages.

This song may or may not be worth singing today, but it should never be sung without being placed in context. Personally, this is one ballad I would not miss if everyone decided to relegate it to the library shelves rather than the continuing singing tradition.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 06:01 PM

It's Child ballad #155, so you can find DT's versions just by searching on '#155". Child in ESPB sketched out the history of the 'Hugh of Lincoln' libel.

My own theory is that it was later written to justify the previous massacre of many Jews by those on their way in the early Crusades.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 06:31 PM

Excuse me, but am I missing something? I see nothing OVERT about Little Hugh being Jewish in the lyrics above...murder, yes. Sacrifice--maybe. I'll go check out the others, but it seems to me it could almost be a Cruel Sister/Mother thing too......


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 06:37 PM

OK, I just went and read the lyrics in the DT---Jewish yes. It does sound to me, though, like she killed him because he broke her window, not because she was Jewish. The religion thing seems to be an aside, to me.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Sourdough
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 07:44 PM

Although the song did start out as a "blatantly anti-Semitic song" a blood libel, it lost that attachment when it came to the US southern mountains where no one had ever seen a Jew. So, they did the next best thing and turned it into "The Gypsy's Daughter", thus enabling them to throw the burden of the ritual murder onto a group to which they had a tiny cultural exposure.

It's possible that what bothers Bennet Zurofsky is that someone who likes the song and story, trying to get the more "authentic" version, would uncover the old anti-Jewish or anti-Gypsy version and resurrect it (is that a mixed metaphor, somehow?).

Does a version of this story exist in Canterbury Tales?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 08:27 PM

Whether it started as a song about Jews murdering children, or started as a song about a child getting murdered, and then adapted to be used against Jews is something noone can know at this date.

In the version here anyway, it's about a child getting murdered, which is something that tragicaslly still happens. The blood libel about the Jews and ritual murder has been removed, and I don't think that the fact that it was there in some versions is a reason to reject the song.

I recognise that anyone looking into the history of the song is going to learn about this, but if that has the effect of reminding people about the terrible things that were done to the Jews in England, that's a good thing, I would have thought.

The presumption that the earlier version of an evolving song, "the authentic one" strikes me as misconceived. "Authentic" in this kind of context if it means anything means the actual words that have been collected from singers in the oral tradition - the printed version found in some ancient manuscript is interesting, and can throw light on the meaning of lines that have become confused - but I believe that the really significant text is the one that has been shaped by people passing on the song in a tradition. And that includes our generation.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 09:34 PM

Thank you, McGrath. That is what I was trying to say but you said it better.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 09:46 AM

Folklorist Alan Dundes collected 14 essays and edited a book on this legend: The Blood Libel Legend: A Casebook in Anti-Semitic Folklore (University of Wisconsin Press, 1991).

"The legend is traced from the murder of William of Norwich in 1144, one of the first reported cases of ritualized murder attributed to Jews, through nineteenth-century Egyptian reports, Spanish examples, Catholic periodicals, modern English instances, and twentieth-century American cases. The essays deal not only with historical cases and surveys of blood libel in different locales, but also with literary renditions of the legend, including the ballad 'Sir Hugh, or, the Jew's Daughter' and Chaucer's 'The Prioress's Tale.'"(From the back cover)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 03:59 PM

It is not "Little Sir Hugh" who is Jewish, it is the young woman who murders him.

As others have noted in this thread, the blood libel is a very widespread piece of folklore that has sometimes been incorporated into official church doctrine. Indeed, until the advent of Hitler, it was the single most pernicious bit of anti-semitic lore and was undoubtedly responsible for the most violence against Jews in many countries.

One need not ever have encountered a Jew in order to harbor and propagate anti-semitic beliefs. Indeed, complete ignorance of Jews and their actual ways often furthers anti-semitism. I would suggest that to know us to love us, not the other way around.

Moreover, a song need not explicitly mention Jews for a listener, especially one who grew up in the same tradition as the singer, to understand the reference to Jews and the blood libel. The blood libel is something that has often been preached from pulpits over the centuries and was a piece of semi-sacred folklore that many of the "folk" were familiar with.

There is a tendency among some to try and sanitize folk songs as artistic works of an innocent, or at least an unprejudiced, people. In fact they often reflect the prejudices of the people.

Closing one's eyes to what "Little Sir Hugh" is actually about, and singing a version from which all explicit references to Jews have been cleansed, is a form of self-delusion. Many of those who hear it will understand its meaning and its importance, whether the singer is willing to admit it or not.

I am not one to prevent anyone from singing anything that they want to sing. I personally do not want to sing this one and do not much care to listen to others who sing it. I am only offended when those who sing it fail to acknowledge what the song is about and to place it in an appropriate context. This is especially true when the singer is not someone who learned the sung from a parent, who in turn learned it from ten generations before, but is a schooled person who has chosen which songs he or she wishes to sing from all of the wonderful ballads that are out there.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: GUEST,Medb Ni'Loughlin
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM

thank you all for your help. personally I agree with mcgrath and sorcha, though I can also understand other viewpoints. I do not think it is self dilusion to sing the non-explicit version, think about ring around the rosy little children sing it all the time not knowing it was originally about the plague,should they stop singingthat as well. The jewish reference was the reason I specifically asked for the Steeleye Span version. Medb


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 05:30 PM

There is a considerable difference between a song that makes satiric reference to the plague and one that is part of a tradition that has directly inspired many thousands of hate crimes, including murders, over the centuries.

It is not my position that it is self-delusion to sing a version that does not make an explicit reference to Jews. My point is that even without an explicit reference there are many listeners who will understand the anti-semitic nature of the lyrics. As a result, a person who sings this song without acknowledging that fact, and somehow accounting for it in their presentation, is engaged in self-delusion and may even be viewed by some of his or her listeners as furthering the blood libel.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM

I sing a song called "The Queen's Garden" which is a derivative of this, and it is reputed to have come back over from the West Indies. I think I learnt it from the singing of a guy called Terry Masterson, but can't be sure, it's all so long ago. Jock


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:09 PM

Child's notes on this song are well worth reading. He gives a full account of the libel, country by country. He did not have access to the Appalachians, but he did record one version from an informant who had heard it from black children in New York City, traced it from them to Irish children, and from them to an old Irish immigrant woman who had learned it in the old country. There, too, all mention of the Jews had disappeared!


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:22 PM

I believe it's pretty clear that "Ring a Ring a Rosie" is not actually about the plague. Not that that is too important.

The lie in the blood libel was that there has ever been such a thing as Jewish ritual murder of children. It was an echo of a previous blood libel in Roman times saying the same thing about Christians.

But the truth is that children do get murdered. It is natural that there should be songs about it. This is such a song, and a powerful one.

It is descended from a song which distorted the truth. But in the version presented here - and in versions which were sung in the oral tradition - the anti-semitic slant which had been put on it has been excised.

We are all descended from ancestors who have done terrible things. We have to be careful, not become paralysed. Dogs are descended from wolves.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Sourdough
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:39 PM

However, I think it is important to remember that a particular song may stir up uncomfortable feelings in some listeners. Bennet Zurofsky did not say "don't sing this song!" or that "it is wrong to sing this song", just that it makes him uncomfortable and he wished that those who sang it understood why that should be so.

You may think he is being overly sensitive, but he is telling you how he feels and leaves it up to others to decide how they feel about the song.

I enjoy whaling songs. Whaling is a bloody, smelly and unsustainable activity. Listening to those songs glorifying the spirit of those days may make some people uncomfortable. I can rationalize it saing it is a good song and it doesn't advocate going out and killing whales now but others may continue to see the song as a disgusting hangover from a time when this brutal industry was a commonplace activity on every sea of the earth.

Whenever I sing a whaling song, I try to make sure that listeners understand that I know how bloody and brutal whaling was, how dehumanizing it could be.

I think there may be an analogy here.

Masato: Thanks for reminding me that I was trying to think of "The Prioress' Tale".

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 08:26 PM

It's a song that I have never felt able to sing, though at least one of the tunes associated with it (a Northern Irish one as it happens) was just too good to miss, so I use it instead for Lizzie Higgins' set of Willie's Fate, though obviously I always explain where it came from.

It's worth mentioning that accusations of the ritual sacrifice of children have always been a common propaganda ploy; as McGrath mentions, that accusation was levelled by Rome against Christians, and later, by the Christian church, against not only the Jews but also the Albigensians, the Cathars and the Knights Templar (amongst others), and helped to provide the excuse for at least one exercise in genocide directed against "heretic" christians.  More recently, exactly the same moral panic has been promulgated by mendacious propagandists of all kinds; both sides in the last two World Wars accused their opponents of eating babies, and the "Satanic Child Abuse" myth of recent years is an example of exactly the same thing.

Having said all that, I have always understood the "blood libel" to be the (undeserved) accusation against the Jewish nation of deicide; although clearly the song in question here is related to that, it is worth noting that it is by no means an unusual phenomenon in folklore.  To recognise all this ought to be to move toward a greater understanding of the prejudices which we all have some share in, and beyond which we need to grow.  We may perhaps best achieve this not by denying the past, but by trying to learn from it.  My main worry at the moment is that few nations (including Israel) appear to be in the slightest bit interested in doing that.


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Subject: RE: Little sir Hugh
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 08:44 PM

Interesting thread.... I was more or less aware of the song, but certainly not of the 'blood libel' accusation.

Maddy Prior is Jewish though, I'm fairly sure..... though she didnt seem to baulk at singing it, evidently. Nor, IMO, should she have done.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 02:15 PM

Maddie Prior Jewish? Well, she might be for all I know. But she's the daughter of a Church of England vicar, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 05:27 PM

I thought her father was a cabinet minister in the Thatcher regime.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 09:03 PM

The circumstances were part of a general anti-Semitism at the time, not causal. Jews began to be imprisoned wholesale in 1210 & England was officially "Judenrein" October, 1290, when the last 16,000 left. Although, a remnant did remain in small pockets. It was that otherwise jolly fellow Cromwell that allowed Jews back in 1655.

In 1255, Hugh was in the middle of this period. To the best of my knowledge there are no Jewish contemporary accounts. All seems to come from a few lines in The Annals of Waverley for 1255. In addition to the one guy that "confessed," 18 other Jews were executed for not conspiring to kill Hugh.

Not to forget that Hugh was raised to sainthood. (He is Little Saint Hugh because there was a Saint Bishop Hugh of Lincoln about 50 years earlier. Notably, Saint Bishop Hugh was strongly condemnatory of anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews.) Little was sanctified for miracles performed after his death. He is still in the Catholic order so they've never found any such fraud in the story.

History behind this is shorter than you'd think: On Mar 21, 1144, William of Norwich was murdered leading, on 3/22 to the 1st European Blood Libel. (This became a link and excuse in the widespread pogroms decimating European Jewish communities "incidental" to the 3rd Crusade.)

Lest you believe the Blood Libel is an extinct mideval oddity, note that on July 4, 1946 Kielce, Poland held a Blood Libel & pogrom; 41 Jews were murdered. This disheartening event was, of course, after the Nazis were long gone. Like most other such events, it just had to do with money not religion or politics. These Jews were Survivors returning home and just wanted their lives and homes back. But their homes had been confiscated and were held by "real" Poles. So they died.

The Blood Libel still exists along with other such monumental lies & frauds as _The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion_. It is still printed today and distributed both among extremist Arab groups and (we shouldn't seel so superior) among extremist American survivalist/Nazi/etc. groups. I have heard people say that Well, maybe it was _once_ true that Jews did this.

Thing is, folks, that is is still a horror story told to justify slaughter of Jews. Still. Now. And usually by those whose real motive is theft not religious ferver.

You may enjoy the song and not feel it does any real harm...but then, you may also feel that dumb Polack jokes and nigger jokes are just funny and don't really mean any harm.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM

Besides, the song is still in tradition: href="http://www.pearl.arts.ed.ac.uk/Tocher/Vol-40/40-193/40-193fr.html">Tocher pages


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 09:17 PM

If the song serves to remind people about these things, is that a bad thing?


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Abby Sale
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 11:18 AM

McGrath: Nope: it's a good thing. "Those who forget the past..." Just, as has been several times said, it should be put clearly & specificly in context and not left as a possible report of an actual event.

Unfortunately, it's a good tune, too. But that's as difficult to deal with as a virulent racist joke that just happens to be very funny. All the worse as people are more likely to retell it without qualification.

I dunnooo..


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: weepiper
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 12:36 PM

Warning! Thread Creep...
Re mentions of 'Ring a Ring of Roses' above, I've always been told that it relates to the plague as follows:

Ring a ring of roses (refers to ring-shaped rash on skin)
A pocketful of posies (refers to medieval custom of carrying herbs/flowers to ward off illness and bad smells from sick people!)
A-tishoo! A-tishoo! (sneezing...duh)
We all fall down. (dead)


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 01:07 PM

That's certainly the oft-repeated modern belief, but there seems to be no evidence to support it.  According to Peter and Iona Opie (The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes, 1951) no examples of the rhyme are known in England prior to 1881, though a version sung to the familiar tune (but with no sneezing or falling down) was reported from Massachusetts c.1790.

In fact, sneezing and falling seems to be an introduction of the late 19th century, which has only become widespread during the 20th; the Opies comment, "The foreign and 19th century versions seem to show that the fall was originally a curtsey or other gracious bending movement of a dramatic singing-game."  They go on to quote analogues from Germany, France, Switzerland and Ireland (in both English and Gaelic).


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 05:42 PM

An actual trial based on such an accusation was held in Kiev, Russia, so late as 1913. The defendant was eventually acquitted, after an international scandal. See _Blood Accusation: The Strange History of the Beiliss Case_, by Maurice Samuel (Knopf, 1966).


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 07:30 PM

As has already been mentioned Francis Child, to his everlasting credit, expressed his distaste for this ballad, while at the same time exploring the history of the "blood libel" in European folklore. It is a widespread tale, and I share the discomfort that Abby Sale, Bennet Zukofsky, and Malcolm Douglas have with this song even in a sanitised version. It is not just about child murder; it concerns a libellous account of ritual killing, which has been used to justify pogroms even, as Abby points out, in very recent times. I would hope that anyone singing this song would at least acknowledge its context. I don't think it would be fair to just sing it as "a good tune", and assume that its deeper meaning will not be noticed.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Abby Sale
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 10:13 PM

Ah yes, Joe, the Beilis Affair. Lots of fun. At the time, however, anti-Semitism was official Russian policy. The accusation was widely believed and spread with fervor by the "Black Hundreds" nationnalists. There was a fine fictionalized but realistic book (Malamud) and movie on it in the late 60's, "The Fixer." In that case there there was a World outrage and outcry and I'm sure that had much to do with Beilis' acquittal.

Here's a favorite from the "happy?" file:

September 23, 1928, Massena, New York: Barbara Griffith disappears; this results in the 1st inquiry by a US law official concerning the Blood Libel. Local hate-rumor ran rampant, hundreds of residents gathered at the police station when the mayor ordered police chief to interrogate the rabbi on whether or not Jews use Christian blood on their holidays. By Oct 5 there'd been a national outcry, press quotes from Jewish leaders, Governer Al Smith ordered hearing, Mayor Hawes appologized in NY Times, disciplinary action against the accuser, Trooper HM McCann and a call for leniency for him by R' Stephen Wise. The same month Jews in Hungary, Yugoslavia & Poland suffered severe pogroms & Blood Libel-justified persecution.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 01:37 PM

Reading through this six-year-old thread because it was linked to a current one about Litle Sir Hugh, I find Maddy Prior described as:

(a) Jewish
(b) the daughter of a C of E vicar
(c ) the daughter of a former Tory minister

In the interests of accuracy and completeness I'd like to point out that Maddy's father was the TV scriptwriter Allan Prior.

And that Tim Hart's father was a vicar.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 01:50 PM

We were at Licoln Cathedral on Easter Sunday. It's supposed to have happened in Lincoln, and there are the remains of Little Sir Hugh's shrine in the cathedral.


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: oggie
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 02:15 PM

The "Niche of Little Saint Hugh" is on the south side of the Angel Choir. There is a small plaque there which tries to put the events in context, this is a recent (last 10 years) alteration. For many years before that the plaque showed the Prayer of Little Saint Hugh which was (pardon me if it's not 100% correct)

From the sins of our fathers'
And their fathers,
And their fathers before them,
Good Lord deliver us.
Amen

The "Jews House" also still exists, it is on Steep Hill as you go down into the city.

On an historical note, the Jews came to England with William the Conquerer as the "King's Bankers", effectively they bankrolled the exercise and continued in that role in England. Being a Knight in the Feudal system was ruinously expensive and by the mid twelth century they held mortgages on many estates. It was thus financially expedient to the ruling classes for the Jews to go. In York, the Jews held in Clifford's Tower appealled to the local lord, Roger de Malbis for help, they held his mortgage, he did nothing and the killing ensued leaving him debt free.

All the best

Steve Ogden


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Subject: RE: Little Sir Hugh
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 02:59 PM

Hey, I only revived this to correct the load of bollocks written about Maddy Prior.
There's a later thread on the go:

thread.cfm?threadid=67238


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 03:15 PM

The story of Little Sir Hugh is a "true" story; at least true in the minds of the gentile participants. Here's how F. J. Child summarized the story in "English and Scottish Popular Ballads, vol. 3":
    The story of Hugh of Lincoln is told in the Annals of Waverley, under the year 1255, by a contemporary writer, to this effect.[*1] A boy in Lincoln, named Hugh, was crucified by the Jews in contempt of Christ, with various preliminary tortures. To conceal the act from Christians, the body, when taken from the cross, was thrown into a running stream; but the water would not endure the wrong done its maker, and immediately ejected it upon dry land. The body was then buried in the earth, but was found above ground the next day. The guilty parties were now very much frightened and quite at their wit's end; as a last resort they threw the corpse into a drinking-well. Thereupon the whole place was filled with so brilliant a light and so sweet an odor that it was clear to everybody that there must be something holy and prodigious in the well. The body was seen floating on the water, and, upon its being drawn up, the hands and feet were found to be pierced, the head had, as it were, a crown of bloody points, and there were various other wounds: from all which it was plain that this was the work of the abominable Jews. A blind woman, touching the bier on which the blessed martyr's corpse was carrying to the church, received her sight, and many other miracles followed. Eighteen Jews, convicted of the crime, and confessing it with their own mouth, were hanged.

    Matthew Paris, also writing contemporaneously, supplies additional circumstances, one of which, the mother's finding of the child, is prominent in the ballad.[*2] The Jews of Lincoln stole the boy Hugh, who was some eight years old, near Peter and Paul's day, June 29, and fed him properly for ten days, while they were sending to all parts of England to convoke their co-believers to a crucifixion of him in contempt of Jesus. When they were assembled, one of the Lincoln Jews was appointed judge, a Pilate, as it were, and the boy was sentenced to various torments; he was scourged till the blood ran, crowned with thorns, spit upon, pricked with knives, made to drink gall, mocked and scoffed at, hailed as false prophet; finally he was crucified, and a lance thrust into his heart. He was then taken down and disembowelled; for what reason is not known, but, as it was said, for magical purposes. The mother (whose name, not given by this chronicler, is known to have been Beatrice) made diligent search for her lost child for several days, and was told by her neighbors that they had seen the boy playing with Jewish children, and going into a Jew's house. This house the mother entered, and saw the boy's body, which had been thrown into a well. The town officers were sent for, and drew up the corpse. The mother's shrieks drew a great concourse to the place, among whom was Sir John of Lexington, a long-headed and scholarly man (a priest of the cathedral), who declared that he had heard of the Jews doing such things before. Laying hands on the Jew into whose house the boy had been known to go, John of Lexington told him that all the gold in England would not buy him off; nevertheless, life and limb should be safe if he would tell everything. The Jew, Copin by name, encouraged and urged by Sir John, made a full confession: all that the Christians had said was true; the Jews crucified a boy every year, if they could get hold of one, and had crucified this Hugh; they had wished to bury the body, after they had come to the conclusion that an innocent's bowels were of no use for divination, but the earth would not hold it; so they had thrown it into a well, but with no better success, for the mother had found it, and reported the fact to the officers. The canons of Lincoln Cathedral begged the child's body, and buried it in their church with the honors due to so precious a martyr. The king, who had been absent in the North, being made acquainted with these circumstances, blamed Sir John for the promise which he had so improperly made the wretch Copin. But Copin was still in custody, and, seeing he had no chance for life, he volunteered to complete his testimony! Almost all the Jews in England had been accessory to the child's death, and almost every city of England where Jews lived had sent delegates to the ceremony of his immolation, as to a Paschal sacrifice. Copin was then tied to a horse, and dragged to the gallows, and ninety-one other Jews carried to London and imprisoned. The inquisition made by the king's justices showed that the crime had been virtually the common act of the Jews of England, and the mother's appeal to the king, which was pressed unremittingly, had such effect that on St Clement's day eighteen of the richer and more considerable Jews of Lincoln were hanged on gallows specially constructed for the purpose, more than sixty being reserved for a like sentence in the tower of London.[*3]

    The Annals of Burton give a long report of this case, which is perhaps contemporary, though the MS. is mostly of the next century. On the last day of July, at a time when all the principal Jews of England were collected at Lincoln, Hugh, a school-boy (scholaris) of nine, the only son of a poor woman, was kidnapped towards sunset, while playing with his comrades, by Jopin, a Jew of that place. He was concealed in Jopin's house six and twenty days, getting so little to eat and drink that he had hardly the strength to speak. Then, at a council of all the Jews, resident and other, it was determined that he should be put to death. They stripped him, flogged him, spat in his face, cut off the cartilage of the nose and the upper lip, and broke the main upper teeth; then crucified him. The boy, fortified by divine grace, maintained himself with cheerfulness, and uttered neither complaint nor groan. They ran sharp points into him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head, till the body was covered with the blood from these wounds, then pierced his side with a lance, and he gave up the ghost. The boy not coming home as usual, his mother made search for him. As he was not found, the information given by his playmates as to when and where they had last seen him roused a strong suspicion among the Christians that he had been carried off and killed by the Jews; all the more because there were so many of them present in the town at that time, and from all parts of the kingdom, though the Jews pretended that the occasion for this unusual congregation was a grand wedding. The truth becoming every day clearer, the mother set off for Scotland, where the king then chanced to be, and laid the complaint at his feet. The Jews, meanwhile, knowing that the business would be looked into, were in great consternation; they took away the body in the night, and threw it into a well. In the well it was found in the course of an inquisition ordered by the king, and, when it was drawn out, a woman, blind for fifteen years, who had been very fond of the boy, laid her hand on the body in faith, exclaiming, Alas, sweet little Hugh, that it so happened! and then rubbed her eyes with the moisture of the body, and at once recovered her sight. The miracle drew crowds of people to the spot, and every sick or infirm person that could get near the body went home well and happy: hearing whereof, the dean and canons of the cathedral went out in procession to the body of the holy martyr, and carried it to the minster with all possible ceremony, where they buried it very honorably (disregarding the passionate protests of a brother canon, of the parish to which the boy belonged, who would fain have retained so precious, and also valuable, an object within his own bounds). The king stopped at Lincoln, on his way down from Scotland, looked into the matter, found the charges against the Jews to be substantiated, and ordered an arrest of the whole pack. They shut themselves up in their houses, but their houses were stormed. In the course of the examination which followed, John of Lessington promised Jopin, the head of the Jews, and their priest (who was believed to be at the bottom of the whole transaction), that he would do all he could to save his life, if Jopin would give up the facts. Jopin, delighted at this assurance, and expecting to be able to save the other Jews by the use of money, confessed everything. But considering what a disgrace it would be to the king's majesty if the deviser and perpetrator of such a felony escaped scot-free, Jopin was, by sentence of court, tied to the tail of a horse, dragged a long way through the streets, over sticks and stones, and hanged. Such other Jews as had been taken into custody were sent to London, and a good many more, who were implicated but had escaped, were arrested in the provinces. Eighteen suffered the same fate as Jopin. The Dominicans exerted themselves to save the lives of the others,--bribed so to do, as some thought; but they lost favor by it, and their efforts availed nothing. It was ordered by the government that all the Jews in the land who had consented to the murder, and especially those who had been present, namely, seventy-one who were in prison in London, should die the death of Jopin. But Richard of Cornwall, the king's brother, to whom the king had pledged all the Jews in England as security for a loan, stimulated also by a huge bribe, withstood this violation of vested rights, and further execution was stayed.[*4]

    An Anglo-French ballad of ninety-two stanzas, which also appears to be contemporary with the event, agrees in many particulars with the account given in the Annals of Burton, adding several which are found in none of the foregoing narratives.[*5] Hugh of Lincoln was kidnapped one evening towards the beginning of August, by Peitevin, the Jew.[*6] His mother at once missed him, and searched for him, crying, I have lost my child! till curfew. She slept little and prayed much, and immediately after her prayer the suspicion arose in her mind that her child had been abducted by the Jews. So, with the break of day, the woman went weeping through the Jewry, calling at the Jews' doors, Where is my child? Impelled by the suspicion which, as it pleased God, she had of the Jews, she kept on till she came to the court. When she came before King Henry (whom God preserve!), she fell at his feet and begged his grace: "Sire, my son was carried off by the Lincoln Jews one evening; see to it, for charity!" The king swore by God's pity, If it be so as thou hast told, the Jews shall die; if thou hast lied on the Jews, by St Edward, doubt not thou shalt have the same judgment. Soon after the child was carried off, the Jews of Lincoln made a great gathering of all the richest of their sect in England. The child was brought before them, tied with a cord, by the Jew Jopin. They stripped him, as erst they did Jesus. Then said Jopin, thinking he spoke to much profit, The child must be sold for thirty pence, as Jesus was. Agim, the Jew, answered, Give me the child for thirty pence; but I wish that he should be sentenced to death, since I have bought him. The Jews said, Let Agim have him, but let him be put to death forthwith: worse than this, they all cried with one voice, Let him be put on the cross! The child was unbound and hanged on the cross, vilely, as Jesus was. His arms were stretched to the cross, and his feet and hands pierced with sharp nails, and he was crucified alive. Agim took his knife and pierced the innocent's side, and split his heart in two. As the ghost left the body, the child called to his mother, Pray Jesus Christ for me! The Jews buried the body, so that no one might know of their privity, but some of them, passing the place the next morning, found it lying above ground. When they heard of this marvel, they determined in council that the corpse should be thrown into a Jakes; but the morning after it was again above ground. While they were in agonies of terror, one of their number came and told them that a woman, who had been his nurse, had agreed for money to take the body out of the city; but he recommended that all the wounds should first be filled with boiling wax. The body was taken off by this nurse and thrown into a well behind the castle.[*7] A woman coming for water the next day discovered it lying on the ground, so filthy that she scarce durst touch it. This woman bethought herself of the child which had been stolen. She went back to Lincoln, and gave information to Hugh's stepfather, who found her tale probable by reason of the suspicion which he already had of the Jews. The woman went through the city proclaiming that she had found the child, and everybody flocked to the well. The coroners were sent for, and came with good will to make their inspection. The body was taken back to Lincoln. A woman came up, who had long before lost her sight, and calling out, Alas, pretty Hugh, why are you lying here! applied her hands to the corpse and then to her eyes, and regained her sight. All who were present were witnesses of the miracle, and gave thanks to God. A converted [*8] Jew presented himself, and suggested that if they wished to know how the child came by its death they should wash the body in warm water; and this being done, the examination which he made enabled him to show that this treason had been done by the Jews, for the very wounds of Jesus were found upon the child. They of the cathedral, hearing of the miracle, came out and carried the body to the church, and buried it among other saints with great joy: mult ben firent, cum m' est avis. Soon after, the mother arrived from the court, very unhappy because she had not been able to find her child. The Lincoln Jews were apprehended and thrown into prison; they said, We have been betrayed by Falsim. The next day King Henry came to Lincoln, and ordered the Jews before him for an inquest. A wise man who was there took it upon him to say that the Jew who would tell the truth to the king should fare the better for it. Jopin, in whose house the treason had been done, told the whole story as already related. King Henry, when all had been told, cried, Right ill did he that killed him! The justices[*9] went to council, and condemned Jopin to death: his body was to be drawn through the city "de chivals forts et ben ferré[s]" till life was extinct, and then to be hanged. And this was done. I know well where, says the singer: by Canewic, on the high hill.[*10] Of the other Jews it is only said that they had much shame.

    The English ballads, the oldest of which were recovered about the middle of the last century, must, in the course of five hundred years of tradition, have departed considerably from the early form; in all of them the boy comes to his death for breaking a Jew's window, and at the hands of the Jew's daughter. The occurrence of Our Lady's draw-well, in A, is due to a mixing, to this extent, of the story of Hugh with that of the young devotee of the Virgin who is celebrated in Chaucer's Prioresses Tale. In Chaucer's legend, which somewhat strangely removes the scene to a city in Asia, a little "clergeon" (cf. the scholaris of the Annals of Burton) excites, not very unnaturally, the wrath of the Jews by singing the hymn "Alma redemptoris mater" twice a day, as he passes, schoolward and homeward, through the Jewry. For this they cut his throat and throw him into a privy. The Virgin comes to him, and bids him sing the anthem still, till a grain which she lays upon his tongue shall be removed. The mother, in the course of her search for her boy, goes to the pit, under divine direction, and hears him singing.

    Another version of this legend occurs in a collection of the Miracles of Our Lady in the Vernon MS., c. 1375, leaf cxxiii, back; printed by Dr. Horstmann in Herrig's Archiv, 1876, LVI, 224, and again in the Chaucer Society's Originals and Analogues, p. 281. The boy, in this, contributes to the support of his family by singing and begging in the streets of Paris. His song is again Alma redemptoris mater, and he sings it one Saturday as he goes through the Jewry. He is killed, disposed of, and discovered as in Chaucer's tale, and the bishop, who "was come to see that wonder," finds in the child's throat a lily, inscribed all over with Alma redemptoris mater, which being taken out the song ceases. But when the child's body is carried to the minster, and a requiem mass is begun, the corpse rises up, and sings Salve, sancta parens.

    Another variety of the legend is furnished by the Spanish Franciscan Espina, Fortalicium Fidei, 1459, in the edition of Lyons, 1500, fol. ccviii, reprinted by the Chaucer Society, Originals and Analogues, p. 108.[*11] The boy is here called Alfonsus of Lincoln. The Jews, having got him into their possession, deliberate what shall be done to him, and decide that the tongue with which he had sung Alma redemptoris shall be torn out, likewise the heart in which he had meditated the song, and the body be thrown into a jakes. The Virgin comes to him, and puts a precious stone in his mouth, to supply the place of his tongue, and the boy at once begins to sing the anthem, and keeps on incessantly for four days; at the end of which time the discovery is made by the mother, as before. The body is taken to the cathedral, where the bishop delivers a sermon, concluding with an injunction upon all present to pour out their supplications to heaven that this mystery may be cleared up. The boy rises to his feet, takes the jewel from his mouth, explains everything that has passed, hands the jewel to the bishop, to be preserved with other reliques, and expires.

    A miracle versified from an earlier source by Gautier de Coincy, some thirty or forty years before the affair of Hugh of Lincoln, is obviously of the same ultimate origin as the Prioresses Tale. A poor woman in England had an only son with a beautiful voice, who did a good deal for the support of his mother by his singing. The Virgin took a particular interest in this clerconcel, among whose songs was Gaude Maria, which he used to give in a style that moved many to tears. One day, when he was playing in the streets with his comrades, they came to the Jews' street, where some entertainment was going on which had collected a great many people, who recognized the boy, and asked him to give them a song about Our Lady. He sang with his usual pathos and applause. Jews were listening with the rest, and one of them was so exasperated by a passage in the hymn that he would have knocked the singer on the head then and there, had he dared. When the crowd was dispersed, this Jew enticed the child into his house by flattery and promises, struck him dead with an axe, and buried him. His mother went in search of him, and learned the second day that the boy had been singing in the Jewry the day before, and it was intimated that the Jews might have laid hands on him and killed him. The woman gave the Virgin to understand that if she lost her child she should never more have confidence in her power; nevertheless, more than twenty days passed before any light was thrown on his disappearance. At the end of that time, being one day in the Jews' street, and her wild exclamations having collected a couple of thousand people, she gave vent to her conviction that the Jews had killed her son. Then the Virgin made the child, dead and buried as he was, sing out Gaude Maria in a loud and clear voice. An assault was made on the Jews and the Jews' houses, including that of the murderer; and here, after much searching, guided by the singing, they found the boy buried under the door, perfectly well, and his face as red as a fresh cherry. The boy related how he had been decoyed into the house and struck with an axe; the Virgin had come to him in what seemed a sleep, and told him that he was remiss in not singing her response as he had been wont, upon which he began to sing. Bells were rung, the Virgin was glorified, some Jews were converted, the rest massacred. (G. de Coincy, ed. Poquet, col. 557 ff; Chaucer Society, Originals and Analogues, p. 253 ff.) The same miracle, with considerable variations, occurs in Mariu Saga, ed. Unger, p. 203, No 62, 'Af klerk ok gy[**modern Greek delta]ingum;' also in Collin de Plancy, Légendes des Saintes Images, p. 218, 'L'Enfant de Ch[oe]ur de Notre-Dame du Puy,' under the date 1325.

    Murders like that of Hugh of Lincoln have been imputed to the Jews for at least seven hundred and fifty years,[*12] and the charge, which there is reason to suppose may still from time to time be renewed, has brought upon the accused every calamity that the hand of man can inflict, pillage, confiscation, banishment, torture, and death, and this in huge proportions. The process of these murders has often been described as a parody of the crucifixion of Jesus. The motive most commonly alleged, in addition to the expression of contempt for Christianity, has been the obtaining of blood for use in the Paschal rites,--a most unhappily devised slander, in stark contradiction with Jewish precept and practice. That no Christian child was ever killed by a Jew, that there never even was so much truth as that (setting aside the object) in a single case of these particular criminations, is what no Christian or Jew would undertake to assert; but of these charges in the mass it may safely be said, as it has been said, that they are as credible as the miracles which, in a great number of cases, are asserted to have been worked by the reliques of the young saints, and as well substantiated as the absurd sacrilege of stabbing, baking, or boiling the Host,[*13] or the enormity of poisoning springs, with which the Jews have equally been taxed.[*14] And these pretended child-murders, with their horrible consequences, are only a part of a persecution which, with all moderation, may be rubricated as the most disgraceful chapter in the history of the human race.[*15]

    Cases in England, besides that of Hugh of Lincoln, are William of Norwich, 1137, the Saxon Chronicle, Earle, p. 263, Acta Sanctorum, March (25), III, 588; a boy at Gloucester, 1160, Brompton, in Twysden, col. 1050, Knyghton, col. 2394; Robert of St Edmondsbury, 1181, Gervasius Dorobornensis, Twysden, col. 1458; a boy at Norwich, stolen, circumcised, and kept for crucifixion, 1235, Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, Luard, III, 305 (see also III, 543,1239, IV, 30,1240); a boy at London, 1244, Matthew Paris, IV, 377 (doubtful, but solemnly buried in St. Paul's); a boy at Northampton, 1279, crucified, but not quite killed, the continuator of Florence of Worcester, Thorpe, II, 222.

    It would be tedious and useless to attempt to make a collection of the great number of similar instances which have been mentioned by chroniclers and ecclesiastical writers; enough come readily to hand without much research.

    [Child goes on to list many similar instances in European chronicles.]

    *1 Annales Monastici, ed. Luard, II, 346 ff. "From 1219 to 1266 the MS. was written contemporaneously with the events described, from year to year:" p. xxxvi.

    *2 Chronica Majora, ed. Luard, V, 516-19. Matthew Paris died in 1259.

    *3 Seventy-one were thus reserved, but escaped, by the use of money or by the intercession of the Franciscans, or both. See the same volume, p. 546; but also the account which follows, from the Annals of Burton.

    *4 Annales de Burton, in Annales Monastici, Luard, I, 340-48. Hugh of Lincoln is commemorated in the Acta Sanctorum, July (27), VI, 494.

    *5 Michel, Hugues de Lincoln, etc., from a MS. in the "Bibliothèque royale, No 7268, 3.3. A. Colb. 3745, fol. 135, r^o, col. 1." Reprinted by Halliwell, Ballads and Poems respecting Hugh of Lincoln, p. 1, and from Halliwell by Hume, Sir Hugh of Lincoln, etc., p. 43 ff. In stanzas 13, 75, there is an invocation in behalf of King Henry (Qui Den gard et tenge sa vie!), which implies that he is living. The ballad shows an acquaintance with the localities.

    *6 "A la gule de aust." The day, according to the Annals of Burton, was the vigil of St Peter ad vincula. We find in Henschel's Ducange, "ad festum S. Petri, in gula Augusti," and "le jour de feste S. Pere, en goule Aoust." Strictly taken, goule should be the first day, Lammas.

    Peitevin was actually resident in Lincoln at the time. "He was called Peitevin the Great, to distinguish him from another person who bore the appellation of Peitevin the Little. The Royal Commission issued in 1256 directs an inquisition to be taken of the names of all those who belonged to the school of Peytevin Magnus, who had fled on account of his implication in the crucifixion of a Christian boy." London Athenaeum, 1849, p. 1270 f.

    *7 The site of the Jewry was on the hill and about the castle: London Athenæum, 1849, p. 1271.

    *8 These renegades play a like part in many similar cases.

    *9 Les Jus, 82^1; but this is impossible, and we have li justis in 91^1.

    *10 "Canwick is pleasantly situated on a bold eminence, about a mile northward of Lincoln." Allen, History of the County of Lincoln, I, 208.

    *11 I do not find this story in the Basel edition of c. 1475.

    *12 A case cited by Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, 2^r Theil, p. 220, from Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 1. vii, 16, differs from later ones by heing a simple extravagance of drunkenness. Some Jews in Syria, "A. D. 419," who were making merry after their fashion, and indulging in a good deal of tomfoolery, began, as they felt the influence of wine, to jeer at Christ and Christians; from which they proceeded to the seizing of a Christian boy and tying him to a cross. At first they were contented to make game of him, but, growing crazy with drink, they fell to beating him, and even beat him to death; for which they were properly punished.

    *13 See the ballads 'Vom Judenmord zu Deggendorf,' 1337, 'Von den Juden zu Passau,' 1478, in Liliencron, I, 45, No 12, II, 142, No 153.

    *14 Nothing could be more just than these words of Percy: "If we consider, on the one hand, the ignorance and superstition of the times when such stories took their rise, the virulent prejudices of the monks who record them, and the eagerness with which they would be catched up by the barbarons populace as a pretence for plunder; on the other hand, the great danger incurred by the perpetrators, and the inadequate motives they could have to excite them to a crime of so much horror, we may reasonably conclude the whole charge to be groundless and malicious." Reliques, 1795,I, 32.

    *15 Read the indictment against Christians filed by Zunz, Die synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters, pp 19-58, covering the time from the eleventh century to the middle of the sixteenth. It is regrettable that Zunz has not generally cited his authorities. See also Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 183 ff., and notes, p. 280 ff., where the authorities are given.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: Richie
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 12:05 PM

Hi,

This ballad seems to be based on two themes: 1) the actual murder in 1255 and 2) the legend as it occurs in the Miracles of Our Lady, which predates the murder.

My question is, what are the events as told in the ballad that relate to 1) the murder and 2) the legend?

I believe Child A is the only version that has a reference to 'the legend". Is this correct?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: Richie
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 02:32 PM

Hi,

This book, A Study of the Miracle of Our Lady Told by Chaucer's Prioress, by Carleton Brown is the most comprehensive on the Legend. It can be viewed on google books, here:
https://books.google.com/books?id=yAdEAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=A+Study+of+the+Miracle+of+Our+Lady+Told+by+Chaucer%27s+Pri

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: Richie
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 03:01 PM

Hi,

From Brown (see link above) we have this summary of the Legend:

"By comparing, now, the versions before us and noting the features which they have in common it is possible to define with some precision the kernel of the story: A boy who loves the Virgin devotedly sings often in her praise a certain response (or anthem). The Jews (or an individual Jew) on hearing the song are moved to anger, and determine to kill the singer. Watching their opportunity, they put him to death, and carefully conceal the body. The Virgin restores the boy to life and bids him sing as before (or causes the lifeless body to sing). By this miracle the crime is exposed and the murderers apprehended. Thereupon the Jews are (1) converted and baptized, or (2) punished by death or banishment. Such, at least, is the outline of the miracle as it is told in more than twenty versions. Three early versions (A IV, VI and VIII), which possibly in this respect may preserve the more primitive form of the story, lack the account of the boy's singing after his murder."

And this date, "This common original, now, in all probability was in existence even before the year 1200. Of the versions before us, no less than ten (A I-VII and B I—III) are found in manuscripts of the thirteenth century." This predates the 1255 murder of Sir Hugh of Lincoln and also, most likely, the murder of William of Norwich circa 1137.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: Richie
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 10:29 PM

Hi,

In The Survival of a Saint's Legend by Mary McCabe, Chapter 11 of her thesis: A critical study of some traditional religious ballads, she proposes that the ur-ballad was composed prior to 1300. She ascribes the following traits of the ur-ballad: 1) Hugh is enticed from his playmates into a Jew's house, crucified and stabbed, bleeding profusely; 2) His heart is eaten; 3) A Christian throws his corpse into a well; 4) Hugh's mother searches and makes fruitless inquiries of the Jews; 5) A woman (probably his mother) finds his body in the well; 6) The corpse recounts the murder and after miraculous ejection from the well (possibly by the Virgin Mary) is buried with great solemnity in the great cathedral.

Do you agree? Was the ur-ballad written prior to 1300? What are the post-reformation changes that were made to the ballad?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 09:46 AM

This is a very interesting thread indeed. I have sung this song on occasion but was not aware of it being rooted in anti-Semitism. The Steeleye version gives no hint of that.
I never ceased to be amazed at the knowledge found on this forum.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 11:16 AM

Had you looked in Child, you would have found that his title for it is "Sir Hugh, or The Jew's Daughter". Not so much a matter of knowledge, but of knowing where to look. Any Child ballad one is going to sing may be checked at source. A full list of the Child ballads is online in Wikipedia at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_Child_Ballads

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Sir Hugh (from Steeleye Span)
From: Richie
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 02:43 PM

Hi,

I assume McCabe's ur-ballad is based in part on the anglo-French ballad of 92 stanzas that was contemporary to the event. I've put it on my site here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/hugo-de-lincolnia--abraham-hume-1849.aspx

Child's summary of that ballad was posted by Jim Dixon above (without footnotes).

Richie


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