The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33569   Message #448747
Posted By: Sandy Paton
25-Apr-01 - 12:44 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Twa Sisters / Lay Bent to the Bonny Broom
Subject: RE: 'twasisters' lay the bent to bonny broom
There are ninety-seven versions of "The Two Sisters" in Bertrand Bronson's The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads (Volume 1, Princeton, 1959). Horton Barker's version, as recorded by Herbert Halpert in 1939, is number sisty-seven. One of Randolph's texts, collected near Mena, Arkansas, in 1930, uses "Bow she bent to me" as the first of the refrain lines, but I doubt that those who have chosen to sing this ballad to a "Riddles Wisely Expounded" tune and refrain were inspired to do so by this fleeting use of the word bent in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Joelle: Has anyone yet pointed out to you that the Frankie Armstrong version, using the refrain and tune you're looking for, is in the Digital Tradition? Just type "#10" (without the quotes) in the box at the top of this page, and scroll down to the eleventh (isn't it?) version listed on the page that comes up there. It's title is followed by (Bonnie Broom) in parentheses. Or, even easier (but not as good a learning experience), click on that title in Malcolm's exhaustive list of sources available in the long post above and you can take it from there, although I would urge you to learn a "Riddles Wisely Expounded" to the tune. Either way, m'lady, have fun.