The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22884   Message #268281
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
30-Jul-00 - 10:42 PM
Thread Name: Penguin: Young Edwin In The Lowlands Low
Subject: Origins: Young Edwin In The Lowlands Low
From the notes to the Penguin Book (1959):

"This ballad was evidently a great favourite, for versions of it were printed on balladsheets by many printers in England, Scotland and Ireland.  Several versions have been found in the Northeast and the upland South of America.  The hero is variously given as Young Edwin, Young Edward, and Young Edmund.  Mrs. Hopkins's tune is sometimes used for the carol,  Come All You Worthy Christians ¹ (e.g. FSJ vol.I, p.74).  It appears to be related to the well-known  Dives and Lazarus  melody (perhaps both are descended from a common ancestor) ².  Other English versions have been reported from oral tradition in Sussex (FSJ vol.I, p.124), and Hampshire ³ (Folk Songs from Hampshire, G.B. Gardiner, 1909).  A Canadian set collected by Maud Karpeles is given in FSJ vol.VIII, pp.227-8."  -R.V.W./A.L.L.

This version was collected by Charles Gamblin and Ralph Vaughan Williams from Mrs. Hopkins of Axford, Basingstoke, Hampshire, in 1907, and was first published in the Folk Song Journal, vol.III, p.266.

There is another version on the DT:

Edward in the Lowlands  Collected by Cecil Sharp from Mrs. Jane Gentry, Hot Springs NC, in 1916.

DT #330
Laws M34
@courting @elope @murder @family @dream @premonition @sailor

There is an entry at The Traditional Ballad Index:
Edwin (Edmund, Edward) in the Lowlands Low

Some other titles:

Young Edmond Dell
The Lowlands Low
The Ploughboy of the Lowlands
Young Emma
Young Emsley

² See, in particular, two posts from Bruce Olson on the subject:  Note re. Gilderoy/ Dives & Lazarus/ Star of the County Down tune family  and  .abc of Gilderoy,  from D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719; apparantly the earliest known version.

³ The Hampshire version referred to above may be seen, with tune, at Lesley Nelson's  Folk Music  site:

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low

There are two American versions at the  Max Hunter Folk Song Collection:

Young Emily  Mrs. Pearl Brewer in Pocahontas, Arkansas on May 27, 1959; with soundfiles.

Young Edward, The Driver Boy  Mr. Fred High in High, Arkansas on February 11, 1959; with soundfiles.

There is a Newfoundland version (no tune given) at  Burin Peninsula District Drama:
Edwin in the Lowlands Low, Or Young Edmund  "Sung by Mrs. Curran at Conception Harbour, 23rd October, 1929".

There are a number of broadside texts at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.  Where duplicate copies exist, I have linked to the most easily legible.

Young Edwin in the Low Lands Low  Printed between 1842 and 1855 by W. Jackson & Son, (late J. Russell,) 23, Moor Street, Birmingham.

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low    Printed between 1849 and 1862 by H. Such, 123, Union Street, Boro' S.E., and at 83, White Cross St., St. Luke's, London.

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low    Printed between 1813 and 1838 by J. Catnach, 2, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials, London.

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low    Printed by R.G. Edwards, West Street, Leominster.
Young Edwin of the Lowlands Low    Printed between 1796 and 1853 by Swindells, Manchester

Young Edmund in the Lowlands Low  Printed between 1819 and 1844 by J. Pitts, Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6, Gt. St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, London.

These last are all large images.

¹ Lyrics for Come All Ye Worthy/Faithful Christians may at present be found at  Rick's Music Pages:
Come All Ye Worthy Christians

or at  Sabine Baring-Gould and the Folk Songs of South-West England  (PDF file with lyrics and staff notation).