The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101028   Message #2034117
Posted By: Surreysinger
24-Apr-07 - 05:39 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Ewan MacColl)
Subject: RE: Sheepcrook & Black Dog
Barry: you said " I have a much longer version from Lucy Broadword & J Fuller Maitland's "English Country Songs" (1893)"

It's actually Lucy BroadWOOD.

" but it's not the same & it doesn't seem to sing the same either."

Hardly surprising since its a completely different tune; the root of the song in both cases is, I think, "The Unfaithful Sheperdess", a broadside ballad (although I am sure that Malcolm will be along to correct or expand if necessary - grins-). It seems to have been very popular in Surrey and Sussex. Henry Burstow records the Unfaithful Sheperdess as being among the 400+ songs that he could sing from memory. Lucy collected her version from Mr Grantham, a retired illiterate carter living in Holmwood, near Dorking, who had been born in Sussex. The words and tune are very similar to those collected by Vaughan Williams about ten years later a few miles away, also in Surrey, and they are also extremely similar to a version which is sung today by Bob Lewis.

The more well known version (presumably the one you quote) is of the tune and words sung by Steeleye Span, and also by Norma Waterson, who has recorded the version from Queen Caroline Hughes (with some slight amendments)