The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65699   Message #3478594
Posted By: Brian Peters
12-Feb-13 - 07:39 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Kemp Owen (from Frankie Armstrong)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Kemp Owen (from Frankie Armstrong)
I've just noticed this thread after we discussed 'Kemp Owyne' at the Glasgow Ballad Workshop the other day. I must admit I was very flattered when Frankie asked to use my rewrite, which is based mostly on Child 34B (Anna Brown's), with a couple of verses from 34A (Buchan's Ballads) and at least one that I seem to have made up (I'll never say rude things about Bert Lloyd again).

I did use Mrs. Brown's tune - which, incidentally, we can't be confident was notated accurately at the time - more or less as written, but with the 'Scottish snap' removed.

When you put a ballad together from more than one version, especially if none of the versions is terribly coherent, you have to make up your mind which bits to keep and which bits to leave out. I chose to leave out Kemp Owyne's rather useless brother Segramour and, despite the attractions of the protective gifts that the monster gives him, decided that they would complicate matters and get in the way of the story I was trying to tell. It's good that Fay put them in her version - I'm all for alternative interpretations.