The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33125   Message #439869
Posted By: GUEST,Bruce O.
13-Apr-01 - 01:10 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Man in the mill
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man in the mill
The song was recorded as "Old man at the Mill" by Mary Louise Howell 'Dulcimer : Old Time and Traditional Music", Troubadore, TR-2, 1977. Her version of the song is crossed with verses of "The Leather Winged Bat" ("Birds Harmony/Woody Choristers", Scarce Songs 1 on my website)."

Millers in old popular and traditional songs are often known for the number of maidenheads lost at their mill, or for murdering the lovers they had already gotten pregnant.
. The c 1760 "Miller of the Dee" isn't bawdy, but is quite possibly a sanitized version of an older song. [Herd's 'Scots Songs', II, 1776] See "Miller and the Lass" in Purslow's 'The Constant Lovers', the 17th century version being listed at ZN956 in the broadside balad index on my website. [Many other versions are listed at #1128 in Steve Roud's folksong index.]

Our song here is listed as "Miller Boy" in 'The Traditional Ballad Index' on the web. It is there said to be traced back to a song in Pill's to Purge Melancholy (ostensibly by Thomas D'Urfey, Pills, I, 128, 1719, "The old wife she sent to the miller her daughter"), but the broadside ballad text, "The Lusty Miller's Recreation (ZN1067 in the broadside ballad index on my website) is earlier that the one attributed to D'Urfey. I believe this tracing to the Pills song to be nonsense, anyway.