The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171844   Message #4157336
Posted By: GUEST,Terry Wilkinson
11-Nov-22 - 06:52 AM
Thread Name: Barbara Allen - Martinmas
Subject: Barbara Allen - Martinmas
There seems to be a common belief found in Youtube comments and elsewhere that the ballad Barbara Allen is Scottish in origin and that the fact that the Scots versions includes 'Martinmas' in the lyrics somehow proves this.
I am aware of the Samuel Pepys 1666 connection and the possibility of the song having been written for the stage. Also, that the earliest lyrics are found on a c1690 London broadside (with no mention of Martinmas or the name of the young man) and that the earliest Scots lyrics are c1740 and in which Martinmas and Lord Douglas are now present.
If the above is correct why did the Scottish origin belief become so prevalent?