on consideration, there are significnt differences between the behaviour of False Lover John and John Lewis. They both enticed women with promises of marriage, but the real intention of murdering them. John#1's motive was to gain riches from Polly. John Lewis on the other hand seduced 'Omie Wise with a promise of riches: ...he promised her jewels and other fine things...
He brought her no jewels
But he flattered the case
We'll go and get married
'Twill be no disgrace
...but that offer apparently was only to get his way with her
John Lewis, John Lewis, tell me what is your mind
My mind is to drown you and leave you behind
The strange twist in the first tale, is that the wicked false John who has alredy drowned six women, respects Polly's modesty. He demands her silken gown "for I do think your clothing is too fine/For to rot in the salt salt sea", but agress to turn his back while she undresses (Polly says, "For I do think it a very great shame a naked woman to see"), whereupon the sly Polly pushes HIM into the see (a bit like Eggs and Marrowbones/Old Woman of Wexford).
see what I mean about plot and intrigue? take a look at Gill Morice in the database!
Barbara:(re your 21 Jan message) Off hand, I can think of two songs about dead cats and four about dead birds.