The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10100   Message #4010095
Posted By: Steve Gardham
23-Sep-19 - 04:50 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Old Rosin the Bow / Rosin the Beau
Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rosin the Bow / Rosin the Beau
The printed versions of The Rakish Young Fellow can be traced as they move about the country by some of the alterations here and there. After what is probably the London original of about 1760, it seems to have gone up to York, then Newcastle and then Edinburgh, before returning back to London where it was printed by both Catnach and Pitts and their successors in very close versions. This is a pattern that can be found in other ballads of the mid 18th century that continued to be printed into the 19th when they become standardised in a shorter form. It is usually, but not always, this standard form that goes into oral tradition, as one would expect, to be collected at the end of the century.

I will look at the oral versions soon and see if this in fact the case with this song.