The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117095   Message #2521544
Posted By: Artful Codger
21-Dec-08 - 01:56 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: London Merchant / Old Miser
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: London Merchant / Old Miser
While "The London Merchant", "The Old Miser" and "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" may be related, they seem to represent different song clusters, with very distinct story lines and patterns of expression. The version you quote clearly resembles the "Old Miser" broadsides, rather than the "London Merchant" ones. Should we start a separate thread about that cluster, so that there is less confusion about which song a thread concerns? (It is unfortunate that Cox's version imported the "miser" bit from the other song, and uses the same title).

Of course, "relationship" can be a tough thing to nail down: how can derivation be proved at the remove of a century and a half, and how much similarity must exist? But the basic premise--powerful father packs off lowly beau of his only daughter--is common, shared by many songs (off the top of my head, I can think of "Matt Hyland" and "I Courted a Damsel"). "Merchant" and "Miser" share the same meter and similar wording and particulars for the setup, but in the body, where similarity should also be apparent in "related" songs, there is little.