The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50362   Message #1329590
Posted By: Joe Offer
17-Nov-04 - 03:16 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Origins: The Keeper
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Keeper
Not too many U.S. versions of this song. Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Keeper, The

DESCRIPTION: Keeper goes hunting for a doe. In some versions he chases several unsuccessfully.
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: hunting animal dialog
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Sharp-100E 79, "The Keeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 59, "The Keeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 338, "The Keeper" (1 text)

Roud #1519
Pete Seeger, "The Keeper and the Doe" (on PeteSeeger09, PeteSeegerCD02) (on PeteSeeger18)
The Keeper Would A-Hunting Go
Notes: Most of the song consists of back-and-forth singing of the chorus between two singers. B.J. Orton thinks there is a sexual or magical subtext to this song. I doubt it, myself. -PJS
I have to disagree with Paul; at least one text refers to the Keeper kissing a doe, and another doe "[running] away in a young man's heart." There is surely some sort of hidden meaning. The real question is, how far did Sharp bowdlerize what he found?- RBW
File: ShH79

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Here's the entry from;

KEEPER, THE - "did a shooting go" "First doe he shot the missed" - ROUD#1519 - Black-letter broadside (15v) in 1680's called "The Huntsman's Delight" - Broadside (6v) 18th Cent "The Frolicsome Keeper"- ROXBURGHE 1871 vii p557 - BARING GOULD SOW 1905 #113 (a) Peter Sandry, St Ervans, Cornwall (b) James Ellis, Lamerton (c) Miss Temple from a local harvester 1834 (Rev Ed only) words re-written ("original is very gross") from Garland text & tune adapted - GRAINGER #305 Mr Bennett, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire 1908? "Among the leaves of the Green-O" - SHARP EFS Sel Ed 2 1921 pp68-9 - Novello School Ser - SHARP-KARPELES CSC 1974 #271 pp232-3 Robert Kinchin, Ilmington, Warwicksh 1909/ James Church, Chew Mendip, Somerset 1906 1v/m/ Charles Workey, Nether Stowey, Som 1907 1v/m - REEVES IOP 1958 #52 pp138-9 Sharp: Robert Kinchin, Ilmington, Warwicksh 1909 (w/o) - REEVES EC 1960 App 2 pp289-290 Hammond: Mrs Gulliver 1905/ BM Chapbook #11621.c.2 (w/o) - PALMER RVW 1983 #6 p9 Jim Austin, Little Shelford, Cambridgesh 1906 (text from Firth Coll b33 Bodl Lib) - Tune Cf HUGH THE GRAEME -- Sam BENNETT rec by PK, Ilmington, Warwicksh 1950 098 - Shirley COLLINS with John HASTED (banjo), Ralph RINZLER (gtr), Guy Carawan (gtr) rec by PK 1958 (ARGO): SEE FOR MILES SEE-212 1987 - LIVERPOOL SPINNERS on Radio prog 9/11/82: CASS-0407 -- KINGSTON TRIO: "Sold Out" EMI T-1352 1960 "The Hunter" (with new words)