The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #28611   Message #968851
Posted By: Joe Offer
19-Jun-03 - 03:58 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Claudy Banks/Where are the Claudy Banks?
Subject: DTADD Version: Claudy Banks
To keep the discussion together, I'm going to move the messages from today's thread into this one.
I've looked all over, and can't find definite information about the location of Claudy. The German version above refers to the Claudy Bucht (Bay). One very unreliable source said Claudy was a river in Donegal - but I couldn't find it on my Donegal map.

Here's a version that makes mention of Troy.


As I walked out one evening
In the pleasant month of May,
Down by yon flowery [meadow]
So carelessly did stray,
I overheard a damsel
Most grievously complain,
Saying, 'On the banks of Claudy
My darling doth remain.'

I gently stepped up to her,
Which took her in surprise;
I own she did not know me,
Me being in disguise.
'How far do you mean to travel
This dark and dreary night?

'Kind sir, the way to Claudy
Will you me please to show?
Oh, pity a distressed girl,
For there's where I mean to go.
For I am in search of a young man,
And Johnny is his name.
I am told on the banks of Claudy
That he doth yet remain.'

'This is the banks of Claudy,
Fair maid, on which you stand.
And do not trust to Johnny,
For he is a false young man.
For Johnny doth deceive you
And doth not meet you here.
Tarry with me in these green woods;
No dangers need you fear.'

'If Johnny was here this night, sir,
He would keep me from all harm,
But he is in the field of battle
All in his uniform;
He is in the field of battle,
His foes he will destroy;
Like a ruling king of honor
He has fought in the wars of Troy.

'It's been six weeks or over
Since Johnny left the shore.
He is cruising the wide ocean
Where the thunder and cannons roar,
He is cruising the wide ocean
For honor and for fame.'
'The ship was wrecked, as I've been told,
Nigh on the coast of Spain.'

On hearing of this dreadful news
She fell into despair,
To wringing of her hands
And tearing of her hair:
'Since Johnny's gone and left me
No man on earth I'll take;
Through woods and lonesome valleys
I'll wander for his sake.'

On seeing of her royalty (sic)
He could no longer stand
But fell into her arms,
Saying, 'Betsy, I'm the man.
O Betsy, I am that young man
That's been the cause of all your pain;
Since we have met on the banks [of Claudy]
We ne'er shall part again.'

(FSM 152).
'The Banks of Claudy.' From the manuscript ballad-book of James Ashby of Holt County, secured by Miss Welty in 1906. Printed (with the misreading 'Clandy' for 'Claudy') in Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen CXX
66-7. Ashby dated his entry 'January 30th 1874.' Belden supplied a few words where the MS was defective or illegible.

From Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society (Belden)
(no tune)