The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120379   Message #2619391
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
27-Apr-09 - 05:05 AM
Thread Name: Riddle Songs??
Subject: RE: Riddle Songs??
Funny how these things get embedded. With me it's a case of first impressions lasting, having been singing Lay the Bent as given by Bruce & Stokoe in The Northumbrian Minstrelsy for more years than I care to remember. This is the same as Child #1a and in performance I drop four of the extraneous closing verses*, concluding with Now fair maidens all... and repeat of the first which rounds it off nicely. However, thanks to Brian & Jim, maybe the time has come to take another look...

Thanks for those links too, always a joy to read what Mr Douglas had to say on the matter! By Folkie Process in my post of 25 Apr 09 - 04:17 AM I was referring to the Pentangle Confusion, which persists to the extent that many's the time having sung Lay the Bent only to be told afterwards that I was singing the wrong words. Whilst not all folkies are scholars, most, I fear, are pedants at least to the extent that they believe in an underlying correctness however evident the initial misconception. Ring a Rosies is a classic example of this, the Sheela-na-Gig is another, the Green Man likewise. However, whilst I might indulge in a bit of merry banter on line (with Jim it's purely because I'm still smarting because he dismissed my efforts as a ballad singer as being akin to bad pop music) I'm not in the least bit vigilant in the flesh, allowing that belief is a subjective fluidity that results in the pool of objective consensus which is not without appeal. I believe the term is if can't beat them, join them...

* How so extraneous? Well, nauseating sentiment notwithstanding, the couplets read as if they were written by Walkaboutsverse:

When she these questions answered had,
The knight became exceeding glad.

And having [truly] try'd her wit,
He much commended her for it.

And after, as it is verifi'd,
He made of her his lovely bride.

So now, fair maidens all, adieu,
This song I dedicate to you.

I wish that you may constant prove
Vnto the man that you do love.

But they are there in the 1674-9 broadsheet so maybe I should sing them too...