The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120379   Message #2618405
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
25-Apr-09 - 06:40 AM
Thread Name: Riddle Songs??
Subject: RE: Riddle Songs??
What on earth are you trying to prove SS

Nowt much, Jim - simply pointing out that Lay the bent to the bonny broom is, from the context, far more likely to be a euphemism for sexual intercourse rather than anything to do with the magical powers of certain plants. No doubt you're of the opinion that Ring a Roses alludes to the symptoms of The Black Death, or that the Sheela-na-Gig is a pagan fertility figure. Oh the myriad & mired joys of folkloric bullshit! Still, I remain a fan of Grave's The White Goddess though I would never quote it quite as liberally as you do your various sources here, tempting though it might be! Thanks for going to the trouble anyway - a fascinating journey into the folkloric wilderness wherein such charmingly picturesque speculation masquerades as scholarship.

Of far greater interest, I would say, is the occurrence of Yondos town in Mrs. Allie Long Parker's version of Child #2. This is something we can get our teeth into, rather than pondering the continuity of occult symbolic absolutes from Ancient Greece to mid-20th century Arkensas. But of course these lesser mortals, these mere song carriers, these grubby ill-educated rustics, they can't possible understand the true significances of which they sing, can they, Jim?

I might add that when I say Child#1 in my above post I'm referring specifically to 1A which isn't in the least bit supernatural. 1C has a cosy demonic glow to it, but I've never been too convinced by 1E - specially the six / Nick's rhyme.