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John Minear Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England? (182* d) RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England? 03 Jan 12


Becky, thanks for the Jennie Devlon fragment of the "House Carpenter"/"Banks of Claudy" fragment. When I first glanced at the fragment that Flanders collected from Mrs. Sullivan, I skipped over it and didn't see it as being of much relevance. But reading Heylin's study changed my mind on this. He devotes a bit of discussion to Mrs. Sullivan's version and sees it as a significant example of the survival of an independent Scottish tradition of "The Daemon Lover" in North America. His discussion of this is too complicated to present here, but please do take a look at his (long) article here:

http://www.clinton-heylin.com/PDFs/DaemonBitz.pdf

Scroll down about a fourth of the way to section (iii) "All For The Sake of Thee". Heylin discusses a Virginia text from Miss Tyrah Lam of Elkton, VA (1935) in the Wilkinson Collection at UVA (actually he has discussed this text in detail in the previous section along with the fine version from Kentucky by Clay Walters). And then he mentions an East Tennessee text from Charles Morrow Wilson. His question in all of this is the role of "the vows", which in fact are "broken vows". This theme does not show up in the De Marsan broadside tradition, but they are in the older Scottish traditions. And it is in this context that Heylin finds the Sullivan text of the "Banks of Claudy" important, since the Sullivan text begins with:

Oh come with me to the banks of Claudy,
And perform those promises to me, me.

And:

That is not the promise you gave to me
To come in seven long years and a day,
So now come on to the salty seas
And perform your promises to me.

Heylin says:

"Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the Sullivan text, though, is that she has a name for the revenant, George Allis, seemingly a simple phonetic corruption of the only name ever assigned to the mysterious ex-lover, James Harris (or as Peter Buchan would have it, James Herries). Though it was under this title that the song came to be assigned in Child's English & Scottish Popular Ballads, only Buchan called the song by this name."

Oh, begone, begone, young George Allis,
For I am a married wife,
Oh, begone, young George, she said,
For fear there may be strife.


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