The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #56572 Message #3089940
Posted By: Little Robyn
06-Feb-11 - 02:04 PM
Thread Name: Lay the bent to the bonnie broome? Meaning?
Subject: RE: Lay the bent to the bonnie broome? Meaning?
Except, as Malcolm said in 2003
"...relate to versions of The Cruel Sister, of course, which this refrain was never sung with in tradition; it was bolted on in the late 1960s, with the tune, from a 17th century English version of Riddles Wisely Expounded. That arrangement, by the band Pentangle, became very popular, and a lot of people sing it now believing it to be an authentic traditional form of the song."
So while it's a very convenient metaphor, the bent and broom really had nothing to do with the sisters, good or bad.