The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143708   Message #3345145
Posted By: Richie
30-Apr-12 - 07:26 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2

TY Mick. Here's the text from c. 1853:


Lord Lovel stood at his castle gate,
Combing his milk-white steed,
When up came Lady Nancy Bell,
To wish her lover good speed, speed, speed,
Wishing her lover good speed.

"Where are you going. Lord Lovel?" she said,
"Oh, where are you going?" said she;
"I am going, my Lady Nancy Bell,
Strange countries for to see, see, see."
Strange countries, &c.

"When will you be back, Lord Lovel?" said she,
"Oh, when will you be back?" said she;
"In a year or two, or three at most,
I'll return to my fair Nancy-cy-cy."
I'll return, &c.

But he had not been gone a year and a day,
Strange countries for to see,
When languishing thoughts came into his head,
Lady Nancy Bell he would go see, see, see.
Lady Nancy, &c.

So he rode and he rode on his milk-white horse,
Till he came to London town,
And then he heard St. Pancras bells
And the people all mourning round, round, round,
And the people &c.

"Oh, what is the matter?" Lord Lovel said,
"Oh what is the matter?" said he;
"A Lord's Lady is dead." the woman replied,
"And some call her Lady Nancy-cy-cy."
And some, &c.

So he ordered the grave to be opened wide,
And the shroud to be turned down,
And there he kissed her clay-cold lips
Till the tears came trickling down, down, down.
Till the tears, &c.

Lady Nancy died as it might be to-day,
Lord Lovel he died as to-morrow.
Lady Nancy she died out of pure grief,
Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow, sorrow, sorrow.
Lord Lovel he died, &c.

Lady Nancy was laid in St. Pancras church,
Lord Lovel was laid in the choir:
And out of her bosom there grew a red rose,
And out of her lover's a brier, rier, rier.
And out of, &c.

It grew, and it grew to the Church steeple top,
And then it could grow no higher,
So there entwined in a true lover's knot,
For all true-lovers to admire, rire, rire.
For all, &c.

This is essentially the same text as the broadside found in Child H, a London broadside of 1846, in Dixon's Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England, p. 78.

Curiously, the same text was found in Missouri dated 1812 which leads me to believe that the broadside version was around much earlier. Another version dating back c. 1776 is found as Brown E.

Is there an earlier English version?