The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112487   Message #2380737
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
04-Jul-08 - 03:07 AM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Bedmaking
Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bedmaking
Probably a transcription by ear from a Frankie Armstrong record, with the typical (and annoying) substitution of 'me' for 'my' throughout that some people seem to think is compulsory when writing down the words of folk songs. It can (sometimes) serve a useful function for the serious collector working with traditional singers, but is a pointless affectation when just copying out what a professional performer is singing; particularly as there is rarely any attempt to reproduce other idiosyncracies of pronounciation.

Right. Got that off my chest.

Martin Carthy also recorded an arrangement of the song. Both his and Frankie's derive from the set in Frank Purslow's The Wanton Seed (EFDS[S], 1968) which was a collation: tune from Marina Russell (Upwey, Dorset, December 1907), words mainly from George Udall (Halstock, Dorset, June 1908), those two noted by Henry and Robert Hammond; with some additional material from Benjamin Arnold (Easton, Winchester, Hampshire, November 1906) noted by Dr George Gardiner.

Of course, there were broadside editions; three can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The Gay Old Man

More detail will be available when The Wanton Seed is republished in a few months' time. I'd just add that I can't agree with the Ballad Index's comments on the text in Ord; although the opening four lines are presumably related to the first verse of Roud 1631, the rest of it is a completely different story, so best listed separately.