The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145512   Message #3367459
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
24-Jun-12 - 01:30 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
The ballad "Lady Alice" seems widespread in the SE U. S.,reported from Virginia, Florida and Arkansas where it appears as "George Collins" in versions collected from Virginia and North Carolina (in Emrich, American Folk Poetry).
Versions appear as "George Collins" in Bronson, The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads, from Virginia, Hampshire, England (Guyer and Gardinern JFSS, III, No. 13 (1909); one of these has 10 verses and is called a "pivotal" text by Bronson because it suggests the supernatural), and in Randolph, from Arkansas.
"Young Collins Green" from Newfoundland is a derivative text with a scent of "Barbara Allen."

Burlesque or "piss-take" the song's origin may have been, but it was treated seriously by most(?) singers.