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John Minear Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England? (182* d) RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England? 13 Jan 12


Part VI

I now want to look at five more of our versions from the Northeast that seem to have been influenced by the Andrews/De Marsan broadside, or the tradition underlying that broadside, as well as some other distinct traditions. These five versions come from Sidney Luther NH, Belle Richards NH, Ruth Moses (from her father)NH, Orlon Merrill NH, and slightly different from Alice Mancour of VT. The first four, all from NH are the most similar to each other.

Two of them, (Luther and Richards) begin with the familiar "Well met, well met my own true love" line from the broadside. The version from Mancour in VT also begins with this line but has "my pretty fair maid." The other two (Moses and Merrill) begin with the second verse from the broadside, "I might have married a king's daughter fair." The other two NH versions also have this verse. All four of the NH versions share in common the response of "If you could have married a king's daughter fair, I'm sure you are to blame," which is not a part of the broadside. The Mancour version, while structured a bit differently does have the line "You are very much to blame." Clearly this response comes from some other source than the broadside tradition.

All five of these versions share in common, over and against the broadside version, the phrase "the grass grows GREEN" (instead of "high"). Two have "sweet Willy," one has "sweet Valley," one has "Sweet Dundee," and one has "sweet Guerlee." Of course the broadside has "old Tennessee."
Three (Richards, Merrill, Moses) have "slavery" instead of "misery." Interestingly enough, both the Luther version and the Mancour version omit this verse, and the following verse about what she will be offered if she leaves. Moses, Richards and Merrill then have some version of the "dressed herself up" in riches verse. Both Moses and Richards share the line "She dressed herself in scarlet red." Merrill simply has her in a "stylish dress." We have noticed before that this verse surely comes from a different and probably early source.

All five of these versions have in common the lines "Is it for my gold you weep, or is it for my STORE?" And the answering verse, which is omitted by both Mancour and Moses, also has the word "store." The broadside has "Or are you weeping for fear," etc.   The broadside has "But I am weeping for my sweet little babe, That I left with my House Carpenter." Moses, Merrill and Richards all have some variation on "That I never shall see any more." The other two omit this verse entirely.

All five versions have the ship springing a leak but with no mention of striking a rock as in the broadside. And the four NH versions end with some form of a "curse." Three of them curse "all sea men" and Moses curses "all womankind, Likewise all men alive,..." The VT version from Mancour omits the curse. In all, only seven of our versions end with a form of curse. In addition to the four mentioned here and the one mentioned in the previous section from Willard, both Edwards and Couchey of NY have "curse verses."

So, while it may have been possible that these five versions were at least influenced by traditions going back to the Andrews/De Marsan broadside, they have obviously come under other influences as well. The commonalities would perhaps suggest a fairly stable textual tradition lying behind these differences. There were probably alternate versions already in circulation perhaps before the printing of the broadside and certainly afterwards.


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