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Married In Green: good or bad?

MGM·Lion 29 Mar 10 - 06:54 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Mar 10 - 07:06 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Mar 10 - 06:59 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Mar 10 - 07:08 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Mar 10 - 10:55 AM
Green Man 30 Mar 10 - 11:01 AM
Tootler 30 Mar 10 - 11:15 AM
IanC 30 Mar 10 - 11:47 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Mar 10 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Henryp 30 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM
Amos 30 Mar 10 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,mg 30 Mar 10 - 12:53 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 10 - 02:37 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Mar 10 - 05:35 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Mar 10 - 05:41 PM
The Sandman 30 Mar 10 - 05:46 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Mar 10 - 05:51 PM
VirginiaTam 30 Mar 10 - 06:00 PM
EnglishFolkfan 30 Mar 10 - 06:01 PM
ClaireBear 31 Mar 10 - 05:13 PM
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Subject: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 06:54 AM

Reading the current thread on the Lasses From Bannion reminded me that the narrator-singer, the 'fairest of all', plans to dye her petticoat green for her wedding. This in much contrast to the heroine of Child #221, Katharine Jaffray, who, in many versions, is persuaded by her lover the Laird of Loch-Invar [eponymous original of Scott's famous reworking of the ballad in "Marmion"], to dress in green for her compelled wedding to an unwelcome bridegroom, to enable him and his companions to carry her off, without interference from guests or bystanders, under guise of being a "fairy troop" (title of some versions, whilst others go under title of "The Green Wedding"), in fulfilment of the superstition that, green being the colour of faerie, a bride who marries dressed in that colour would be liable to such a fate.

So, on the evidence of 'Bannion', green appears to have been regarded as a fortunate bridal colour in rural Ireland; but, on that of Child #221, the very opposite obtained in Scotland.

Has anyone any evidence of where, when, and how, each version of the superstitions regarding "green weddings" obtained?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 07:06 AM

I might have added that Dickens appeared to know the negative superstition: in 'Nicholas Nickleby', he constantly emphasises the fact that the miser Arthur Gride insists on wearing his bottle-green suit for his marriage to the tender Madeline Bray, only to have her snatched from under his very nose by Nicholas at the wedding ~~ just like Young Lochinvar!


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:59 AM

R


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 07:08 AM

I always thought that this was to do with an allusion to grass stains, "gay green gown" etc.


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 10:55 AM

Was told one by an old man that at one time green cars were cheaper than other colours because of the bad luck attached.
BTW - The Green Wedding was popular among Irish traditional singers - especially in the west.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Green Man
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 11:01 AM

Green is Good, long live green. Grin


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Tootler
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 11:15 AM

From the Bothy Ballad "Mormond Braes"

I'll put on my goon o' green
It's a forsaken token
It will let the lads a' ken
The bonds of love are broken.

This seems to fit with the OP's thesis that green would not be considered a suitable colour for a bridal gown in the Scots Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: IanC
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 11:47 AM

Interesting.

I'm from Cambridgeshire (England) and wearing green at all was regarded as very bad luck. My grandmother would never have worn anything green and even my mother still doesn't (though I think it's less a superstition than a habit). Shoes on the table were also a no-no.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 12:00 PM

On the other hand - Greensleeves was said to have been an indication that the wearer was a prostitute.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM

The Gown of Green is regarded as a badge of seduction;

Good morning, my fair creature, I'm proud to meet you here
With that sweet baby in your arms you seem to love so dear
Oh I think I know the father and you before I've seen
Don't you remember the day, my dear, you wore the gown of green

And from Thomas of Winesbury;

She's put off her gown of green
Stood straight upon the stone
And when she looked down her belly it was big
And her fair colour it was wan

From the internet;

In Portuguese we have a very old-fashioned expression: "casar na igreja verde" - "get married in the green church". The green church stands for the woods, the greens. So the meaning is to have an illicit relationship, actually out of a wedlock.


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 12:19 PM

Wearing the gown of green is a metaphor for jolly romps in several old Anglo songs. As for good or bad, I s'pose it depends on your viewpoint as a jolly participant or an envious gossiper on the sidelines.


A


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 12:53 PM

Didn't Lizzie Lindsey?? have a gown of green velvet and kilted it over her knee..

And the lady in Curragh of Kildare..and in velvet of green I will appear...mg


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:37 PM

I think Lizzie Lindsey was in green satin.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:35 PM

In one of the traditional Scottish ballads, the "wife"-by-capture and abduction, who has lived with and borne six sons to Lord I-forget-his-name, learns that he is going elsewhere to bring back a rich (and legitimate) bride, and that the heroine will now be demoted to housekeeper, baker, (and I suspect, alternate bed-warmer) etc.

After he's been gone eight to nine months, she sees him coming with the bridal train, and asks her oldest son,

Oh, shall I dress in green, she said,
Or shall I dress in black?
Or shall I go down to the raging main
And send my soul to wrack?


Green here is the color of jealousy, and black I take to be for mourning. Her other option, as she sees it, is to commit suicide in the sea.

Her son tells her,

You need not dress in green, he said,
Nor shall you dress in black.
But welcome, welcome my father dear
As he's bringing of his new bride back.


Cold comfort.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:41 PM

I was given to understand that the wearing of green dresses was associated with being 'up for it' - which was pretty much the reason it was so popular in Tudor times during the month of May when the court would all wear green to go 'a-Maying'... presumably because it didn't show the grass stains.

Not exactly prostitution but given the circumstances, an easy connection.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:46 PM

its only unlucky if you believe in it,
its like walking under ladders,personally i never walk under ladders particularly if there is someone on it,its just asking for an accident.
some people believe that walking on the cracks of paving stones is unlucky,it really is a shame that not everyone believes this,because it means we are deprived of lots of silly walks


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:51 PM

Good Soldier Schweik:

If you never step on a crack, how can you break your mother's back?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:00 PM

I found the following though no reference to weddings.
The Glaistig - is a water faerie and is part seductive woman, part goat. The goat-like attributes she tries to hide under a long flowing green dress. The Glaistig lures men to dance with her before she feeds, vampire-like, on their blood. Her nature is typically faerie-perverse for she can also be benign and gently tend children or old people. She will also sometimes herd cattle for farmers.

Lots of correlation of colour green to faerie folk. Whether this means the colour brings good or bad luck to marriage depends upon the respective folklore of a people, I guess.

then there is this

The Meaning of the color Green
The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color Green was dictated by English Law! These were called the Sumptuary Laws. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color Green, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them. This was not just dictated by the wealth of the person, it also reflected their social standing. The meaning of colors during the Elizabethan era represented many aspects of their life - the social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism was reflected in the color Green!

The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color Green
Some interesting facts and information about the symbolic, religious, Christian and Biblical meaning of the color Green

The symbolic meaning of the color green was renewal of life and nature

Green also has a Biblical meaning and is the Christian color for the season of Epiphany

Cheap dyes were used to produce the color green from woad and lichen dyes, and other common vegetable dyes which could produce a variety of green colors

Lichen - A plant of the division Lichenes which occur as crusty patches or bushy growths on tree trunks or rocks or bare ground etc - a source of green dye

The color green is closely associated with the medieval legend of Robin Hood

People who were allowed to wear the color green during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were lower and upper classes

The Dye used to produce the color Green
Some interesting facts and information about the dyes used to produce the color. Lichen - A plant of the division Lichenes which occur as crusty patches or bushy growths on tree trunks or rocks or bare ground etc - a source of green dye. Used to produce cloth dyed in various shades of green.
from this site

I love the Gay Green Gown song and imagery.

I wore a floor length dark green velvet gown when I married TheSilentOne. Still have that gown. Green is my favourite colour.


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:01 PM

Shoes on the table has it's origins in plain common sense ie don't transfer the muck off the floor to somewhere where you're going to eat from: according to my Grandma born 1889 most 'superstitions' were actually based on good old commonsense. Even crossed knives that equals bad luck is true in that you are likely to cut yourself separating them.


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Subject: RE: Married In Green: good or bad?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 05:13 PM

In my former folklore-book-reading days, I seem to recall that it's good luck to marry in green if you are Irish and unthinkably bad luck if you're not.

I went with the green=good luck, being one-eighth O'Neill. Okay luck so far...fifteen years and counting.

C


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