The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171844   Message #4157425
Posted By: GUEST
12-Nov-22 - 06:05 AM
Thread Name: Barbara Allen - Martinmas
Subject: RE: Barbara Allen - Martinmas
Thanks for your thoughts Steve.

Perhaps if not 'ancient' then perhaps more Scottish.

No idea where 'Lord Douglas' came from but I am reading Steve Roud's 'Folk Song In England' at the moment - perhaps he is lurking in there.

If we take it that the 1740 version with its strong Scottish flavour was the one sung at Pepys' party (and that would tie in with it being 'Scotch' far more than the 1690 version) then does this lend some credence to the theory that the 1690 version stripped of the Scottishness but with the added 'Scarlet Town' is a libel against Barbara Villiers (scarlet in this case having various connotations) -with later versions being changed to 'Reading' when Charles and Barabara V had passed into history? I assume this version would have been in circulation during Charles ll reign.

However, if the 'Scotch' version was the one sung in 1666 I am still puzzled at the 70 year gap before the printed lyrics appear.