The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165662 Message #3978767
Posted By: Steve Gardham
24-Feb-19 - 02:18 PM
Thread Name: katy cruel/robin rowell info?
Subject: RE: katy cruel/robin rowell info?
Proper names are notoriously fickle in folksong especially over long periods, e.g. Andrew Barton morphs into Henry Martin. And where a single Christian name occurs over similar periods some songs have more different names than same ones from version to version.
Not sure what you are suggesting with the 'Robin' connection. Quite a few versions have Rob and Bob in them. A good start would be trace all of the American versions and then try to link back the earliest to British relatives.
In oral tradition almost anything is possible, and this is compounded when we factor in the conscious rewriting of the broadside writers. Stanzas are shifted around almost at random from song to song especially with songs like this that have little cohesive narrative.
Another early piece that shares some stanzas with the family is the Scots song 'Aye Wauking 0'