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Lyr Req: The Merry Broomfield


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Jane Bird 08 Apr 99 - 11:28 AM
Alan of Australia 08 Apr 99 - 11:56 AM
AndyG 08 Apr 99 - 11:56 AM
Bruce O. 08 Apr 99 - 02:24 PM
Jane Bird 09 Apr 99 - 08:30 AM
Jane Bird 13 Apr 99 - 06:34 AM
Jim Dixon 27 Nov 11 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,Jane Bird (without cookie) 27 Nov 11 - 02:10 PM
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Subject: Broomfield Wager
From: Jane Bird
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 11:28 AM

I'm interested in a ballad called "The Broomfield Wager". I'm familiar with the three versions that can be found in the Digital Traditions Database. However, I recently came across another variant in a 19th century broadside from England (I think), called "The Merry Broomfield".

This one is rather more humourous in tone than some others, and also contains a dialogue between the squire and servant, dog and hawk, where he asks them why they didn't wake him up when his lover is there. (If you want to have a look at this version in full, you can find it at this site.)

Has anyone else come across versions of this ballad or any others that feature such dialogues?

Yours, Jane Bird

Link fixed by a Joe clone

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Subject: RE: Broomfield Wager
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 11:56 AM

I think such dialogues are common in various versions of this song. All of the six versions in Child include it, involving: milk-white steed, gay goss-hawk (three off), good gray steed, guid grey hound, berry-brown steed, merry young men, gude grey steed, bonnie grey hound, hawks, bonnie grey steed (two off), merry men a', goodly gawshawk, gallant greyhound, serving-man, but surprisingly, no partridge in a pear tree. Our hero was a lord, a knight or a squire who obviously liked company when pursuing the ladies.


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Subject: RE: Broomfield Wager
From: AndyG
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 11:56 AM


Although I'm fairly sure Jane meant:

to be the link, The file protections are preventing access at the moment. :(

Howver her home page can be found at:
Jane Bird's Scrap Book.


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Subject: RE: Broomfield Wager
From: Bruce O.
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 02:24 PM

Child *#43) give six versions. Two are in the 'Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection', II, #322. But pretty much the same is "The Maskin Rung", #323, where there are 7 versions.

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Subject: RE: Broomfield Wager
From: Jane Bird
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 08:30 AM

Sorry about the error in the web page reference, and I'll get the file permissions reset as soon as I can figure out UNIX. Thanks for your references so far. I'll look up "The Maskin Rung", which isn't one I've come across before.

Cheers, Jane

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Subject: RE: Broomfield Wager
From: Jane Bird
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 06:34 AM

I've sorted out my web pages, and if you would like to have a look at the version of this ballad that I'm refering to, you can find it at Broomfield wager.


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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 12:43 AM

From the Bodleian Library broadside collection, Douce Ballads 2(153a).

(In the following transcription, the spelling and punctuation have been modernized.)

or, the

1. A noble young squire that lived in the West,
He courted a young lady gay;
And as he was merry he put forth a jest,
A wager with her he would lay.

2. "A wager with me," the young lady replied,
"I pray about what must it be?
If I like the humour you shan't be denied,
I love to be merry and free."

3. Quoth he, "I will lay you a hundred pounds,
A hundred pounds, aye, and ten,
That a maid if you go to the merry Broomfield,
That a maid you return not again."

4. "I'll lay you that wager," the lady she said,
Then the money she flung down amain;
"To the merry Broomfield I'll go a pure maid,
The same I'll return home again."

5. He covered her bet in the midst of the hall,
With a hundred and ten jolly pounds;
And then to his servant he straightway did call,
For to bring forth his hawk and his hounds.

6. A ready obedience the servant did yield,
And all was made ready o'er night;
Next morning he went to the merry Broomfield,
To meet with his love and delight.

7. Now when he came there, having waited a while,
Among the green broom down he lies;
The lady came to him, and could not but smile,
For sleep then had closèd his eyes.

8. Upon his right hand a gold ring she secured,
Drawn from her own fingers so fair;
That when he awakèd he might be assured
His lady and love had been there.

9. She left him a posie of pleasant perfume,
Then stepped from the place where he lay,
Then hid herself close in the besom of broom,
To hear what her true love would say.

10. He wakened and found the gold ring on his hand,
Then sorrow of heart he was in:
"My love has been here, I do well understand,
And this wager I now shall not win.

11. "Oh! where was you, my goodly goshawk,
The which I have purchased so dear,
Why did you not waken me out of my sleep,
When the lady, my lover, was here?"

12. "O! with my bells did I ring, master,
And eke with my feet did I run;
And still did I cry, 'Pray awake, master!
She's here now, and soon will be gone.' "

13. "O! where was you, my gallant greyhound,
Whose collar is flourished with gold;
Why hadst thou not wakened me out of my sleep,
When thou didst my lady behold?"

14. "Dear master, I barked with my mouth when she came,
And likewise my collar I shook;
And told you that here was the beautiful dame,
But no notice of me then you took."

15. "O! where wast thou, my servingman,
Whom I have clothèd so fine?
If you had waked me when she was here,
The wager then had been mine."

16. "In the night you should have slept, master,
And kept awake in the day;
Had you not been sleeping when hither she came,
Then a maid she had not gone away."

17. Then home he returned when the wager was lost,
With sorrow of heart, I may say;
The lady she laughed to find her love crost,—
This was upon midsummer-day.

18. "O, squire! I laid in the bushes concealed,
And heard you, when you did complain;
And thus I have been to the merry Broomfield
And a maid returned back again.

19. "Be cheerful! be cheerful! and do not repine,
For now 'tis as clear as the sun,
The money, the money, the money is mine;
The wager I fairly have won."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Merry Broomfield
From: GUEST,Jane Bird (without cookie)
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 02:10 PM

Hello Jim,

That's the version of the ballad I was working on back in 1999 - thank you! None of the links listed above will work anymore, by the way, as I've long since left that university.


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