The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66440   Message #1102757
Posted By: Lighter
27-Jan-04 - 03:10 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: 'Judas' (Child 23?) by John Jacob Niles
Subject: Lyr Add: 'Judas' (Child 23?) by John Jacob Niles
According to "The Ballad Book of John Jacob Niles" (1961), Niles collected three versions of the religious ballad "Judas," each with a different melody.

                               (Niles No. 16 A)

                1. 'Twas in the merry month of May,
                        The Easter time was near,
                   Our Jesus to dear Judas said:
                        "I fear my time is near, is near,
                        I fear my time is near."

                2. "How near, how near, how near, my Lord,
                        How near your time, how near?"
                   "Thou knowest well, dear Judas,
                        Thou knowest well, I fear, I fear,
                        Thou knowest well I fear."

                3. "Go take thou pieces of silver,
                        Go take thou pieces of gold,
                   Go take them to Jerusalem
                        Where bread and meat is sold, is sold,
                        Where bread and meat is sold.

                4. "Nor tarry long upon the way,
                        Nor seek out folk or foe,
                   But take your silver pieces
                        And to the market go, market go,
                        And to the market go."

                5. Now Judas had one sister,
                        An evil sister she,
                   She hated gentle Jesus
                        For His Christianity-ee-ee,
                        For his Christianity.

                6. "Thou shouldst be stoned, Judas,
                        With large stones and with small,
                   Thou shouldst be stoned for trusting
                        This false prophet of all, of all,
                        This false prophet of all."

                7. Now Judas took a little rest,
                        He took a nap of sleep,
                   He laid his head in his sister's lap,
                        And there he slept so deep, so deep,
                        And there he slept so deep.

                8. When Judas woke from sleep and rest,
                        He sought his sister dear:
                   "Pray help me find my silver,
                        'Tis lost, 'tis lost, I fear, I fear,
                   'Tis lost, 'tis lost, I fear."

                9. Then quickly up spoke Pilate,
                        Then quickly up spake he:
                   "Come sell the prophet Jesus,
                        Come sell him unto me, unto me,
                        Come sell him unto me."

                10. "I will not sell my Jesus,
                        Unless it be for meat,
                   To feed my hungry brethren
                        Who have no meat to eat, to eat,
                        Who have no meat to eat."

                11. "Oh, silence, Peter, silence,
                        Silence, for well I know,
                   Three times thou wilt deny me,
                        Afore the cock doth crow, doth crow,
                        Afore the cock doth crow."

Both text and dorian tune said to have been collected from Mayberry Thomas, Knoxville, Tennessee, in August, 1933. Niles observes, "Mayberry Thomas admitted that in his youth, some verse not unlike the text of his ballad about Judas were sold on broadside sheets by colored preachers in the neighborhood of Chattanooga. He also said that a teacher of shape-note hymn singing named Pushmire once taught the song of Judas and sang it with great energy and noise."

                            "JUDAS AND JESUS"
                            (Niles No. 16 B)

          1. Judas 'trayed Jesus, and Jesus hung the cross,
             Yes, Judas 'trayed Jesus, what a loss, what a loss!
             Judas 'trayed Jesus and died by his own hand,
             Oh trouble, oh trouble, in the Holy Land.

          2. It was the night of the very last supper,
             They were in a room called the small room upper.
             Jesus said, 'Judas, you will 'tray me today,
             Oh Judas, you will 'tray me for gold and for pay."

          3. Jesus said, 'Peter, you will sure 'tray me,
             But not for pay and not for fee."
             Jesus said, 'Come, the cross is on the hill.
             I go to the hanging, 'tis my Father's will."

Text and minor tune said to have been collected from Harkus and Tillie Whitman, June 19, 1909, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky.

                           OH JUDY, MY JUDY
                           (Niles No. 16 C)
         1. "Oh Judy, my Judy, hit's time that I go,
            I know you will 'tray me though I love you so.
            Go take of this money and buy us some meat,
            Our brethern are hungry, got nothing to eat."

         2. For pieces of silver, for pieces of gold,
            Our sweet brother Jesus to soldiers was sold.
            "Oh Judy, oh Judy, today I will die,
            Upon that high hill where the wild birds do fly.

         3. "Oh Judy, oh Judy, it's you will die, too,
            Because you did 'tray me when you might-a been true.
            Oh Judy, oh Judy, don't try to deny,
            You sold me to soldiers, and now I must die."

"From the singing of Pete Mulleneoux," age 75, Jefferson Co., Kentucky, July 4, 1909. "He was related in some way to the Whitmans, who lived about two miles away."
Questions: Are these songs genuine survivals of Child's 12th century verses, which have apparently left no other traceable descendants? Or are they adapted from some other, perhaps broadside ballad of Judas?

Niles Center? Malcolm ? Q ? 'Catters at large? What say you ?