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GUEST,Richie Lyr Req: The Riddle Song, help to understand (23) RE: Lyr Req: The Riddle Song, help to understand 09 Feb 12


I'm trying to sort out the variants of Child 46. Appendix, which would be the Riddel Song . This is what I have:

Child introduces two riddle variants in his Narrative to ballad No. 46 Captain Wedderburn's Courtship. The first is the Riddle Song text from the Sloane Manuscript, No 2593, British Museum, dates back to the mid-1400s. The second appears in a footnote, the nursery song, "Para-mara, Dictum, Domine" from Haliwell. Usually there are four riddles in the variant versions with the answers supplied.

In the US and Canada, "The Riddle Song" is known as "I Gave My Love a Cherry" or sometimes under the English title, "I'll give my Love an Apple."

A different variant with similar riddles, is a nursery song found in the the US and British Isles with the "Para-mara, Dictum, Domine" (Haliwell) or common "Perrie Merrie Dixie Domine" refrain.

"Go No More a-Rushing," is yet another old English variant. The melody and song date back to the early 1600s when, it became at some point, attached to the Riddle Song. Versions of "Go No More a-Rushing" attached to the Ridddle Song with the standard four riddles, date back to 1800s.

There are three different melodies and songs plus the variants of these three songs.

Comments please?


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