The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #25099   Message #291567
Posted By: Joe Offer
05-Sep-00 - 04:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Blackbird / If I Was a Blackbird
Subject: RE: History of the song ' Blackbird '
Hi, MiniMe -
Here's what I found in the Traditional Ballad Index, which I find to be a good place to start.

Also check this thread (click).
-Joe Offer-

I Am a Young Maiden (If I Were a Blackbird)

DESCRIPTION: The girl has been courted by a sailor, but now is deserted. She wishes she were a blackbird so she could follow her love. She tells of how her parents' dislike caused her to love him the more. He promised to buy her ribbons, but now has left her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Reeves-Circle)
KEYWORDS: separation courting love floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(MA) Ireland Canada(Newf) Britain(England(Lond,SOuth),Scotland)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
FSCatskills 38, "I Am a Young Maiden" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H79, pp. 428-429, "If I Were A Blackbird" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn 46, "If I Was a Blackbird" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 170-171, "If I Was a Blackbird" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Circle 74, "If I Was a Blackbird" (1 text)
MacSeegTrav 31, "If I Was a Blackbird" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Blondahl, p. 119, "If I Were a Blackbird" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, (IFBLKBRD -- apparently a reworking of the song from a man's perspective) IFBLKBR2*

Roud #387
Diddy Cook, "The Blackbird" (on Voice15)
Blanche Wood, "I'm a Young Bonnie Lassie" (on FSB1)

cf. "The Wagoner's Lad" (lyrics)
NOTES: Although this song is composed entirely of floating lyrics -- from "The Wagoner's Lad," "Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be" and others -- this combination is sufficiently widespread that it must be considered a song in its own right - RBW
Last updated in version 2.7
File: FSC38

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