The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33569   Message #448685
Posted By: Sandy Paton
24-Apr-01 - 10:30 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Twa Sisters / Lay Bent to the Bonny Broom
Subject: RE: 'twasisters' lay the bent to bonny broom
I am in complete agreement with what Malcolm has written here. The above statement concerning the distinction between the traditional and the interpretive singer of folksongs is as well put as ever I've seen it.

Malcolm, was it Lucy Broadwood who conjectured about the magical properties of bent and broom, rather that Evelyn Wells, as I may have misremembered above?

The Horton Barker version of the "Two Sisters" ballad (mentioned above)is on the recording I made of him in 1961, released by Folkways before I started Folk-Legacy. That should still be available from Smithsonian/Folkways. Joelle, who knew Richard Chase, through whom I first met Horton Barker, has surely heard that version. Further, Joelle, I misremembered Caroline's source for the "Riddles Wisely Expounded" version that makes use of the "Lay the bent" refrain. Caroline first heard it sung by Isla Cameron in London, 1958. MacColl may not have sung it after all.