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


Part IV

In addition to a preference for "green" grass and "slavery", there are a number of other differences from the Andrews/De Marsan broadside that show up in these Northeastern versions. One of these is the repetition of the last line or two of a verse used as a refrain. This shows up in seven of the twenty-one versions: Edwards NY, Cornwright NY, Johnson ME, Reynolds ME/NH, Luther NH, George VT, Mancour VT.

Another difference is the addition of the verse that refers to the lady dressing up and parading her riches. An example is from Sarah Willard's version from 1869 in NY:

She dressed herself in rich array
And riches to behold
And every street that she passed through
She showed her glittering gold.

Sometimes she dresses in "scarlet red " (twice from NH, Moses and Richards).

In one version, the "House Carpenter" becomes the "Ship's Carpenter" (Fish NH), and in another version, both "House Carpenter" and "Ship's Carpenter" are mentioned (Edwards NY)

In four of the versions (Cornwright NY, Johnson ME, Fish NH, and George VT), the first two verses of the broadside are conflated into one verse. The broadside has:

"Well met, well met, my own true love,
Well met, well met," cried he
"For I've just returned from the Salt Sea,
All for the love of thee."

"I might have married the King's daughter, dear,"
"You might have married her," cried she,
"For I am married to a House Carpenter,
And a fine young man is he."

These four versions have something equivalent to Mrs. Cornwright's version:

"Well met, well met, my pretty fair maid."
"Not so very well met," said she,
"For I am married to a house-carpenter,
And he is good to me."

In four of the versions, there is a preference for "pretty fair maid" instead of "my own true love" (Johnson ME, Fish NH, George VT, Mancour VT). Both phrases seem to be something like stock ballad phrases, but are different in meaning, perhaps reflecting two different sources.

Two of the versions begin with the verse "I might have married the king's daughter fair," And in five of the versions, there is the addition of a reproach in response to this bragging about having turned down an offer of marriage to a "King's daughter":

"If you could have married a king's daughter fair,
I'm sure you are much to blame,

This is found in Moses NH, Luther NH, Richards NH, Merrill NH, and Mancour VT.

Instead of "What have you got to keep me upon" in the fourth verse of the broadside, three of the versions have "What have you there to ENTERTAIN me on/with" (Johnson ME, Fish NH, George VT).

Two versions have reference to "three ships loaded down with gold" (Moses NH, Degreeenia CT).

Only one of the twenty versions other than the broadside has the phrase "On the banks of the old Tennessee." Curiously enough this is the fragment from Jennie Devlin.

Four of the versions have "sweet Willie" (Willard NY, Reynolds ME/NH, Luther NH, Merrill NH) and five of them have "sweet valley" (Cornwright NY, Johnson ME, Richards NH, Fish NH, George VT). The repetition of these similarities suggests other sources or influences than the broadside.

In five of the versions, the lady says that indeed she is mourning for her house carpenter and her baby (Cornwright NY, Johanson ME, Fish NH, George VT, Wales VT). The broadside says that she is only weeping for her "sweet little babe."

While the broadside says that the ship went down when it "struck a rock and sprung a leak." Six of the versions have some variation on "When a hole in the ship it sprang a leak," (Johnson ME, Cornwright NY, Fish NH, George VT, Mancour VT, Wales VT).

Thirteen of the versions, including the fragments, omit any reference to a curse at the end of the ballad.


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