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Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Question about a verse in 'Daemon Lover' (8)
Joe Rae's Daemon Lover (4)
Lyr Req: Child 243 on Bronson (16)
(origins) Origin: House Carpenter (27)
Lyr Req: House Carpenter (#243 - Jean Ritchie) (17)
Pentangle's House Carpenter (8)
Lyr Req: cyril tawney's carpenter's wife (#243) (18)

Gutcher 11 Jun 18 - 02:13 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jun 18 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,Philippa 08 Jun 18 - 10:21 AM
Richard Mellish 19 May 18 - 10:44 AM
leahyj 17 May 18 - 11:17 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 26 Mar 13 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Richie 25 Mar 13 - 10:08 PM
John Minear 25 Mar 13 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Richie 25 Mar 13 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,gus 05 May 12 - 07:07 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Mar 12 - 03:15 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 03 Mar 12 - 01:07 PM
Brian Peters 03 Mar 12 - 12:04 PM
John Minear 03 Mar 12 - 10:27 AM
John Minear 01 Feb 12 - 09:08 AM
John Minear 31 Jan 12 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,pizel 30 Jan 12 - 10:13 AM
John Minear 29 Jan 12 - 01:17 PM
John Minear 28 Jan 12 - 03:21 PM
John Minear 28 Jan 12 - 11:38 AM
John Minear 27 Jan 12 - 11:36 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 12 - 05:51 AM
Brian Peters 27 Jan 12 - 05:08 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 12 - 04:08 AM
John Minear 26 Jan 12 - 03:01 PM
Brian Peters 26 Jan 12 - 02:36 PM
John Minear 26 Jan 12 - 07:09 AM
John Minear 22 Jan 12 - 08:57 PM
John Minear 22 Jan 12 - 08:39 PM
John Minear 21 Jan 12 - 09:53 PM
John Minear 21 Jan 12 - 09:15 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Jan 12 - 06:33 PM
Richard Mellish 21 Jan 12 - 06:15 PM
John Minear 20 Jan 12 - 04:35 PM
John Minear 20 Jan 12 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,999 20 Jan 12 - 02:28 PM
John Minear 20 Jan 12 - 01:23 PM
John Minear 19 Jan 12 - 11:43 AM
John Minear 18 Jan 12 - 12:04 PM
John Minear 18 Jan 12 - 11:19 AM
John Minear 17 Jan 12 - 05:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jan 12 - 04:40 PM
John Minear 17 Jan 12 - 04:23 PM
John Minear 16 Jan 12 - 04:13 PM
John Minear 16 Jan 12 - 04:05 PM
John Minear 16 Jan 12 - 10:36 AM
John Minear 15 Jan 12 - 09:25 PM
John Minear 15 Jan 12 - 09:09 PM
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Gibb Sahib 15 Jan 12 - 03:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Gutcher
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 02:13 PM

Rather a dull {weatherwise} afternoon here after a few weeks of glorious sunshine.
Reading through this thread I came on the post from Brian Peters dated 12.12.2011 @ 12:04. Brian mentions the title of the ballad on Tobar An Duchlais as "Daemon Lover" I, as the singer, certainly did not give it its title, must have been someone at the S.S S in Edinburgh or the recorder of the ballad. The Tobar An Duchlais site came on stream shortly after I had taught myself to use a computer and it came as a surprise to me that I was included in their archives with two recorded items, the first one having missed the opening first verse. Since that time I have recorded a number of sessions for them of ballads, songs and stories.
The father of the Ned Robertson mentioned in the same post spent some time in the East Borders with the Galloway poet Thomas Murray collecting ballads and stories during the mid 19th. C., this period being only one generation removed from the rich harvest gleaned in that airt by Sir W. Scott and others.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 06:09 AM

I have tow versions from the Edith Fowke collection if anybody is looking for them
Jim Carroll

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Subject: Demon Lover
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 10:21 AM

I've heard a few versions of this song and I see there are links on this thread re other versions. But I first heard it from Joan Baez so the version I sing is close to what she recorded. I'd like to know the source of the version Baez recorded (and also background sources for other ballads Baez sang, such as Matty Groves and Geordie, etc)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 19 May 18 - 10:44 AM

I'm grateful for this thread being revived, both because I had entirely forgotten reading it a few years ago and putting in my own three hap'orth and for the sake of some of the subsequent posts that I probably didn't see at the time. All the same, given the range of discussion and the number of versions posted, I do wonder why someone should have a desire for details of one particular version from the modern revival.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: leahyj
Date: 17 May 18 - 11:17 PM

I'm more than a little late coming to this thread but in the hope that someone sees it , does anyone have the chords and possibly the sheet music for the Steeleye Span version of Demon Lover . I have searched to no avail .

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 08:05 AM

I just checked and the Joe Rae version recording (1973) is now back at the Tobar an Dualchais site: The Daemon Lover - Joe Rae. (It went missing earlier!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 10:08 PM


Here's some info on the Price version:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:16 PM

Hi Richie - I think you are right. Flanders recorded Lena Bourne Fish in 1940, but the Warners recorded her in 1941. A misprint/mistake on my part. Here's what I said above:

"This was recorded in 1940, with a "retake" in 1943. The Warner recording of Lena Bourne Fish was made in 1940." And I believe I repeated that mistake somewhere else but I can't spot it right off. Thanks for catching this. And keep up all of your good work!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 05:40 PM

Hi John,

I've started putting New England version on my site:

I have 1941 for the Warner's version not July 1940 wonder where you got that info?

I'm using some of your notes and info on my site,



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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: GUEST,gus
Date: 05 May 12 - 07:07 AM

Rae"s Scottish version can, again,be heard on the Tobar An Duchlais site.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 03:15 PM

"I came across this first page of a journal article - I can't access the whole article"
Rest of article plus obituary of the singer
Jim Carroll

'If you do leave your house-carpenter,
And come along with me,
I'll take you to where the grass grows green
On the Banks of the Sweet Viledee, my love,
On the Banks of the Sweet Viledee.'

'If I do leave my house-carpenter,
And go along with thee,
What have you there to support me with
Or to keep me from slavery, my love,
Or to keep me from slavery.'

'I have six ships now sailing out,
And seven more on sea,
Three hundred and ten, all jolly sailsmen,
And they all for to wait on thee, my love,
And they all for to wait on thee.'

She dressed her baby neat and clean,
And she gave him kisses three,
Saying, 'Stay, stay here, my darling baby boy,
And your father is company, my love,
And your father is company'

She dressed herself in a suit of green,
And her maiden's waist was green,
And every town that we passed by,
Sure they took her to be some queen, my love,
Sure they took her to be some queen.

We were but two days out on sea,
And I'm sure we were not three,
When this fair maiden began to weep
And she wept most bitterly, my love,
And she wept most bitterly.

'My curse, my curse upon all seamen,
Who brought me out on sea,
And deprived me of my house-carpenter
On the Banks of the Sweet Viledee, my love,
On the Banks of the Sweet Viledee.'

We were but three days out on sea,
And I'm sure we were not four,
When this fair maiden disappeared from the deck
And she sank to rise no more, my love,
And she sank to rise no more.

IFC BF 82. Recorded from Frank Browne, of Rathnallog, Ballanagare, county Roscommon, on the 25 March 1981, by Bairbre Ni Fhloinn (and also on many subsequent occasions). On the night in question, Frank sang the song for the collector in the front room of the house attached to Bruen's pub, in the village of Ballanagare. Like many other publicans in the area, the Bruens have always been most obliging in facilitating recording sessions on their premises. Frank died in February 1998 (see obituary notice in the present volume).
'The Banks of the Sweet Viledee' is the only recorded version in Irish tradition of Child no. 243, 'James Harris' or 'The Demon Lover' (F. J. Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Boston 1882-98). In Frank's version of the song, as in many others, the supernatural dimension appears to have been lost. The location of 'The Sweet Viledee' is unknown, and it may well represent a corruption of a placename. Some other versions of the song, from both sides of the Atlantic, contain placenames somewhat similar to 'Viledee'. Frank learned the song, along with many others, from his sisters. It was included on a compilation tape published in 1985 by European Ethnic Oral Traditions, entitled Early Ballads in Ireland 1968-1985, edited by Hugh Shields and Tom Munnelly.
Thanks are due to Debbie Metrustry, of the Top Type Music Bureau, for making the musical transcription.

(1909 - 1998)
Frank Browne, traditional singer and storyteller, died on the 21st of February 1998. Frank lived a long life, never moving far from his native Ballanagare, in county Roscommon, where he was born in November 1909. All his life he was a loyal Roscommon man, and he never lost an opportunity to sing his county's praises, in every sense. Until the end of his days, he had an energy and an enthusiasm for life which would put to shame a person half his age.
Music and song played an important part in Frank's life from his young days. He was a noted flute-player, and he used to be much in demand locally to play at house-dances and 'sprees', as they were called. He was a fine singer, with a very rich repertoire of songs, gathered from all kinds of sources. Some of Frank's songs were unique in Irish tradition, and had never before been recorded here (see Mam as Mala na mBailitheoiri — From the Field', in this volume).
In his later years, Frank became well-known in traditional music circles as a singer, performing at festivals and gatherings in several parts of the country. He visited Dublin frequently, where he sang at numerous sessions and conferences, and was a frequent and well-loved visitor at the Goilin Singers' Club, in particular. Only months before he died, he sang to a rapt audience of young people from various parts of the world as part of the programme of the annual International Summer School at University College Dublin.
His songs have been included on a number of commercial compilation recordings, most recently on a compact disc produced by UNESCO, consisting of a representative selection of Irish traditional music and song from the archives of the Department of Irish Folklore. This disc forms part of an international series of ethnic music from around the world.
Frank also had a great deal of traditional material relating
to other areas of life, including stories about \ the fairies and similar supernatural occurrences.
He was, in many ways, a walking archive of information about his own place, and a living link with the past.
First and foremost, Frank was his own person, and he remained indomitably himself on his visits to Dublin and elsewhere.   His   humour and his energy, his love of fun and of singing, were all central to his personality, and affected everyone who met him. It
is a consolation to know that so many of Frank's songs and stories were recorded by the Department of Irish Folklore, with whose staff he was always so generous and patient, and whose students he always welcomed so freely.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal dilis.
BEALOIDEAS 66 - 1998

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 01:07 PM

George Deacon, in his John Clare and the Folk Tradition, also noted the similarity of the opening to the Buchan text: Despite the resemblance between the first two verses of Clare's version and the opening verses of 'Sweet William's Ghost' (Child, No.77), comparison with the text that Child prints from Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland reveals a remarkably similar opening to the ballad. Apart from providing us with evidence of the ballad's having been sung in Northamptonshire, Clare's version also retains not only the unusual opening but a stronger reminder of the ghostly nature of the returning lover than do most versions (see verse 10 '& cause he was drest like a man').

The first three verses of his (mother's) version are:

  Whos that under my window
  That doth so sigh & moan
  Is it my father dear
  Or is it my brother John
  Or is it my own true love
  That from Scotland has newly come home

  It is not your father dear
  It is not your brother John
  But it is your own true love
  That from Scotland has newly come home
  James Ellice is my name you know
  Altho youve lost the vow

  Im new come home from the salt salt sea
  & its all for the sake of loving thee
  I might have had a kings daughter
  & she would have married me
  & have forgone her golden crown
  & all for the sake of thee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 12:04 PM

Not directly related to the New England tradition of Child 243, but yesterday I saw for the first time the text noted down by the English poet John Clare from his mother's singing, recorded in his manuscript collection of songs from the 1820s. The bulk of the verses resemble closely (though with differences in detail) the Distressed Ship's Carpenter broadside, but the first three - although a little garbled - are much more like those published by Peter Buchan in Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland (1828). It seems highly unlikely (given the chronology and geography) that Clare's mother could have been influenced by Buchan's text and, since her own background seems to have been solidly English, the suggestion is that the ballad was extant in England around 1800 (which is interesting in itself since we have no other example from this period), and that it existed in a form partly resembling that which we've tended to assume was its 'Scottish' form.

Just for your interest...!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 10:27 AM

I finally made it back to the UVA library yesterday to see if I could find out any more information about Edith Ballinger Price and her mysterious Massachusetts' source. I looked through the other two volumes in Flanders' collection ANCIENT BALLADS TRADITIONALLY SUNG IN NEW ENGLAND. There were other ballads from Price, collected by M. Olney, with the same kind of cryptic note about "learned in childhood from a friend in Massachusetts" but no new information. One note made reference to 1910 "when she [Flanders] was very young". I also looked at some of Flanders' earlier collections, from Vermont and an earlier collection of New England songs and ballads. There was no additional information in any of these works. In fact, Flanders had incorporated some of the material in these earlier works into ANCIENT BALLADS. So for now, that's all I have been able to find on Edith Price and her source, leaving us no closer to a definitive answer than before.

I would welcome some additional discussion on this subject from New Englanders, and especially from some of the many ballad singers from that region. I think that the questions raised by the study of this one ballad probably apply to the overall status of the old "English & Scottish" ballads in the Northeast.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 09:08 AM

It is interesting to take a look at one of Edith Ballinger Price's novels. Here is THE FORTUNE OF THE INDIES, published in 1922. She seems to know something about the days of sail and being at sea.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 09:46 AM

Thanks for that update on the Tobar An Duchlais site.

As I look at this discussion I am struck by how much information we have and by how little we actually know about the history of this ballad in the Northeast. We still are unable to push anything back in time on the American side of the Atlantic prior to the printing of the broadside in 1858, and yet we also know that the broadside was probably "lifted" from one or more strands of oral tradition. It seems much more "Americanized" than British. We also know that "oral traditions" get written down by others besides broadside publishers, because we have that hand-written copy by Sarah Willard from 1869. There were probably hand-written copies prior to the broadside as well. It is all very tantalizing in a somewhat frustrating kind of way!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: GUEST,pizel
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 10:13 AM

The Scottish version of the ballad removed from the Tobar An Duchlais
site is due to reappear on that site sometime in February.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 01:17 PM

In looking back over this discussion, I see that we have focused a good bit of attention on the two versions of "The House Carpenter" collected in the Northeast - both of them from the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection - which are the most "unique." Actually, neither of them was titled "The House Carpenter." One, from Ellen Sullivan, was called "The Banks of Claudy" and the other one from Edith Price, was called "The Daemon Lover." They are unique not only in relationship to all of the other versions that we have found from the Northeast, but also in relation to all of the other versions found in North America (including Canada). They are of interest because they supposedly preserve aspects of this ballad that are not found otherwise on the American side of the Atlantic, namely the supernatural and the diabolical dimensions.

However, just because both of these versions were "collected" in the Northeastern part of the United States, one from Springfield VT (Sullivan), and one from Newport RI (Price), does not mean that they are necessarily "American" versions of this ballad. In fact we know from Mrs. Sullivan and Miss Price that they were not American versions. Mrs. Sullivan learned "The Banks of Claudy" in her childhood in County Cork, Ireland. It is an Irish version of this ballad that she brought over with her to Vermont. And Miss Price learned "The Daemon Lover" from a "friend" whose family had "come over from England", and it is possibly of Scottish origin.

Neither of these two versions have much at all to do with the other versions found in New England and Canada. We can see that clearly when we compare them with the oldest version we have found which is the one from Sarah Willard, of Moriah Center NY from 1869. The Willard version stands squarely in the midst of the rest of those versions normally associated with North America.

When we look at the larger picture of the Northeastern region of America, I think that these two "unique" versions are almost entirely marginalized, and rightfully so. They do not represent early traditional variants of this ballad in this country. I am here suggesting that the Price version did not come "over from England" early on, but much later, and was limited to a single family that "brought it over" and handed it on to Miss Price.

It seems to me that the best way to understand and appreciate the remainder of the American versions found in the Northeast is to place them in the larger context of all other versions found ithroughout the United States, but especially in the Southern Appalachians. As we know, there are many. And I would imagine that the versions found "up North" are probably quite similar to those found "down South" in the Appalachians.

To undertake this kind of study is more than I can do at this point. I am not aware of any detailed analysis of this ballad in America that is very recent. I would appreciate any information that anyone might have on this. I suspect that Gardner-Medwin (1971) may be the most recent work done on the North American versions.

While I think that the versions we have found from New England and Canada definitely help us understand better the spread of this ballad in North America, I don't think that either the Sullivan or the Price versions contribute very much at all to such an understanding. The Sullivan version tells us that the ballad had found its way to Ireland and did come over to New England with a fairly recent Irish immigrant. I'm not at all sure what the Price version tells us and will not venture an opinion on that.

I understand much better now why we did not turn up any versions of this ballad in the Boston area, and especially why there were not any early versions there, due to immigration patterns and religious belief systems. It would seem that the major influence in the Northeast is the same as that down South, in other words the ubiquitous "Scotch-Irish" presence. That this traditional frame of reference undoubtedly had some other "Scottish" influence mixed in with it goes without saying. However, when and where that happened remains to be discovered, although we can assume that it took place prior to the publication of the Andrews/De Marsan broadside in 1858.

I will look forward to additional finds and information, and to discussion of the materials that we have been able to collect here.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 03:21 PM

Looking at my previous post, I think that the Cajun connection is too much of a reach. But I would be interested in knowing where the Cajuns got there version of "I Married A Carpenter" aka "The House Carpenter."

I came across this first page of a journal article - I can't access the whole article - that prints the tune for "The Banks of the Sweet Viledee" that Brian and Jim mentioned above:

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 11:38 AM

Early on in this thread, I mentioned that there was a Cajun French version of "The House Carpenter" which has the line "On the banks of the Tennessee," in three verses. It was collected by Alan Lomax in 1934 and is called "J'ai marie un ouvrier" . Here is a link to the text with a translation:

The fact that this version refers to the "banks of the Tennessee" probably means that it is derived either from the "Andrews/De Marsan" broadside of 1858, or from the tradition that precedes the printing of that broadside, or perhaps from a later oral tradition that incorporated elements from that broadside. It is also possible that this is a fairly late addition to the Cajun repertoire from the early country music world. Unfortunately, the Google Book selection is chopped. And I don't know what Alan Lomax might have said about this, since I don't have access to the liner notes.

However, I'm also wondering if there is any possibility that this ballad might actually have been appropriated by the French Acadians from their English neighbors before their exile from the Northeast beginning about 1755.

Such an early appropriation seems unlikely because of the reference to "the banks of the Tennessee", but we don't know for sure when that reference crept into the oral tradition. Surely it predates the printing of the broadside in 1858. Gardner-Medwin said: "by 1794 both the river and the state are called "Tennassee." So probably sometime between the latter part of the 1700's and the middle of the 1800's "the banks of the old Tennessee" became a phrase the back-country folks would have understood. But that seems too late for any Acadian connection up north. So when did this ballad enter the Cajun tradition?

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:36 AM

Thanks for the additional information, Jim and Brian. And here is my best take on the "Price Version." I would be interested in your further comments.

I've been pondering the Price version of our ballad for several weeks now. I don't have anything much new to add, other than I'm a bit puzzled about why it hasn't created more discussion, since 1945! Of course I was puzzled about why the Willard copy hadn't created more of stir as well. Could one conclude that "ballad studies" are not a particularly hot item and haven't been for over half of a century?

I am not an expert in the British ballad traditions and don't know very much at all about the various manuscripts. I want to say at this point how much I miss Malcolm Douglas in these discussions! In any case, I want to try to sum up my observations on the Price version.

We know that Marguerite Olney collected this version, for Helen Hartness Flanders, from Miss Edith Ballenger (Ballinger?) Price of Newport, Rhode Island on October 23, 1945. Miss Price learned her version "as a young girl from a lady living in Massachusetts." In an introduction to another ballad in this collection, which was also obtained from Miss Price, it says she learned it " about 1910 when a small child, from the singing of a friend in Amherst, Massachusetts ...." We don't know for sure if this is the same person or an accurate dating for her "Daemon Lover," but we might assume that it is. When I can get to the library and look at some of Flanders' other books, I may be able to find out more about Miss Price and her friend from Massachusetts.

The next thing that we know about the "Price version" is that it is unique in the total collection of this ballad in North America. While the title, "Daemon Lover," shows up elsewhere, some of the details in the Price version do not show up anywhere else in North America as far as I know. Her version seems to overtly maintain not only a supernatural element, which is rare in North America, but also a diabolical element, with reference to the "cloven hoof." Here are some of the more remarkable verses:

"I've seven ships upon the sea,
Beaten with the finest gold,
And mariners to wait upon us;
All this she shall behold."

She set her foot unto the ship,
No mariners did she behold;
But the sail was o' the....
And the mast o' the beaten gold.
They hadna' been a league, a league,
A league but only two,
When she beheld his cloven foot,
From his gay robe thrusting through.

They hadna' sailed a league, a league,
A league but only three,
When dark and fearsome grow his looks
And gurly grow the sea.

"Now hold your tears, my dearest dear,
Let all your weeping be
And I'll show ye how the white lilies grow
At the bottom o' the sea."
It would seem that Price's version comes closest to the Scottish (in differentiation from the "English" or "Scotch-Irish" traditions - please forgive me if I am mangling boundaries here!) traditions of this ballad, in which the supernatural and the diabolical are most pronounced. Clinton Heylin suggests that this version, along with the one it resembles most from Motherwell, come from earlier Scottish oral tradition. Gardner-Medwin, in her article, seems to suggest that it comes directly from Scott's book. However, as Richard Mellish, above, and Clinton Heylin himself point out, the word "gurly" is not found in the Motherwell/Scott version, but in another version from the Scottish oral tradition, from Kinloch.

In fact, when you compare Price's version with the version from Motherwell, which Heylin does on pages 83-84 of his book, one sees that while there are resemblances between the two suggesting that they may indeed have a common ancestor, they are different enough from each other to say that probably the Price version is not taken from the Motherwell version. Unless it has been significantly reworked. But that suspicion raises some other questions.

So, it is surely possible that the Price version does come from Scottish tradition. Motherwell's version was published in 1827, suggesting that he got his version from the oral tradition somewhat earlier, and if Price's version comes from the same milieu, then that would date it back to the early part of the 19th century. Both Heylin and Gardner-Medwin argue that there were earlier versions than the 1858 Andrews/De Marsan broadside printing in North America and suggest that they either came from Scotland or were influenced by the Scottish versions.

However, one might immediately ask, "why are there no other surviving examples like the Price version anywhere else in North America if such versions came over from Scotland between about 1750 and 1860?" Also, we just don't know when the Price version arrived on North American shores. Price says that she learned her song from a friend whose "family came from England." When did this "English" family come over? The unspoken implication would seem to be that it was fairly recently, since otherwise, what would be the point of mentioning this in the light of the fact that many, many families had "come over from England!" While there is no evidence to support it, this seems to point to a time more recent than 1827.

There is nothing to say that a Scottish version of "The Daemon Lover" could not have been preserved in England throughout the 19th century and then brought over to the United States later. However, just as there are no surviving examples of this form of the ballad in North America other than Price's, there also do not seem to be any in England either, other than what was already in print. I may be wrong about this. But the question remains, where did it come from, and when?

We know that Miss Price was born in New Jersey and grew up there, and then went to art school in Boston. In 1910, she would have been about 13 years old. It would be so interesting to know more about this "friend" but at this point I don't. However, we do know that Francis James Child had published Part VIII (Vol. 4, Part 2 of the Dover Edition) of his THE ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH POPULAR BALLADS in Boston in 1892, about five years before Miss Price was born. Child had died a year before Miss Price's birth. But the point is that his works were certainly current and available in the Boston/Amherst/Cambridge area in 1910. It is possible that someone with a literary training and background, both of which Miss Price possessed, could have skillfully crafted a "traditional" version of an old ballad, using nothing more than Child's work itself. We all know that this is not an uncommon or necessarily undesirable practice. This could have been done by either Miss Price or her "English" friend, or her English friend's "family". If only M. Olney or H.H. Flanders had asked a few more questions!

On the face of it, the Price version does not "look" like a compilation, but like a genuine surviving version of a somewhat Anglicized Scottish variant of "The Daemon Lover', or exactly what collectors would long to have found all over North America - but didn't. Heylin even suggests that this may be " the only real suggestion that the 'dæmonic' version might have once had a foothold in English tradition."

After trying to consider all of this carefully, I find myself still on the suspicious side of the argument. Too much time had elapsed for such a neat version to all of a sudden show up in Child's backyard a few years after his death. There is too much of a literary ambience surrounding this version. And there is a total lack of any other such versions in either the U.S. or Great Britain for the possible time frames involved, especially from "oral tradition." The Price version remains a somewhat suspicious enigma for me.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 05:51 AM

Oh dear!!
"'Maid in her Father's Garden' has a similar theme??? "
Just goes to show, you never know what's lurkin' behind them daffodils, d'ye!
In fairness, The Demon Lover has never turned up elsewhere in Ireland as far as I know, I half expected to find it from Travellers, but no luck.
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 05:08 AM

Thank you Jim. Having listened to Frank Brown's extremely good and very traditional-sounding rendition of this ballad, I was sceptical about the idea that he was a collector. I should have known better than to trust the information on a record company's website. Here, for your amusement, is what Compass Records have to say about the ballad:

"The Banks of Sweet Viledee was discovered when Cathy Jordan spent a memorable afternoon with the late Frank Browne, from Ballingare, Co. Roscommon, one of the few song collectors from that county. He was the sole collector of the song which is also known as The Demon Lover and James Harris. The location of Viledee is unknown but it maybe a corruption of a particular place name. Frank died in early 1998 the song is dedicated this song to Frank's memory. There was a Maid in her Father's Garden was also collected from Frank Browne also and has a similar theme to The Banks of Sweet Viledee. It's known by several titles and is among the commonest English songs sung in Ireland, in which the usual starting point is the return of an unrecognised young man after a considerable length of time."

'The Demon Lover' was collected only once??

'Maid in her Father's Garden' has a similar theme???

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 04:08 AM

Brian asked me to pass on what I know of Frank Browne (thanks Brian)
This is the note to 'Vildee' from 'Early Ballads in Ireland' (a must for ballad buffs - soon to be issued on CD by the Goilin Singers Club nudge-nudge to all concerned)
"Frank Browne, aged about 70 (the cassette was issued in 1985) , farmer, Rathnollaig, Belnagare, Co. Roscommon, on June 1983 in the home of Bairbre O'Flynne, Dublin, who for some years recorded songs and folklore from Frank at his home and in Dublin. Apparently not recorded elsewhere in Ireland, but common in America, where Frank was born and lived to an early age."
We met Frank once when he was asked to sing at a ballad conference in Dublin. He appeared to have a reasonable repertoire of traditional songs and was well able to sing them.
As the note says, he was a farmer and could in no way be described as a collector, certainly no more than any traditional singer could be described as one (weren't all traditional singers 'collectors' in their own way?)
I have no knowledge of Frank other than that, but I'm sure Bairbre, who works at the Folklore Department at UCD, would be happy to pass on what she knows; the recordings of Frank, along with any information on him, should be housed at the archive there.
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 03:01 PM

Thanks, Brian. I was wondering what kind of tradition this ballad might have in Ireland.

Here is a note that I found on another thread from Debra Cowan (from 04 Oct 07) saying that she had been listening to a recording of Edith Ballinger Price, from the Flanders Collection, accompanying herself on the piano.


And here is an old thread ('99! with a last update from '07) on Helen Hartness Flanders:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:36 PM

Here I am, back at last, John - having just submitted my Tax Return with five days to spare!

Having read the above reference to an Irish tradition for this ballad, I thought you might be interested to see the text of the one Irish version that I know of. I don't have time to go into a comparison now, but will try later. 'The Banks of Sweet Viledee' appears on a cassette called 'Early Ballads in Ireland', sung in 1983 by one Frank Browne, from Ballingare, Co. Roscommon, who appears to have been a song collector rather than a source singer - I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong on that score. Cathy Jordan of Dervish learnt it directly from Mr. Browne, and if you want to get some idea of the tune, here are Dervish taking more than a few liberties with it. In Browne's rendition I can hear echoes of the magnificent tune that the Hammond brothers found with the fragmentary English version they noted from Marina Russell in the 1900s. It's closer to that than to the usual American tune, anyway.


Well met, well met, my own true love
Well met, my love, by thee
I have just arrived from the salt, salt sea
And it's all for the love of thee, my love
And it's all for the love of thee

Now I could have married a great king's daughter
And have myself to blame
For it's tons of gold I have refused
And it's all for the love of thee, my love
All for the love of thee

Now if you could have married a great king's daughter
And have yourself to blame
I have married a house-carpenter
And I think he's a nice young man, my love
And I think he's a nice young man

If you do leave you house-carpenter
And come along with me
I'll take you to where the grass grows green
On the banks of the Sweet Viledee, my love
On the banks of the Sweet Viledee

If I do leave my house-carpenter
And go along with thee
What have you there to support me with
Or keep me from slavery, my love?
Or keep me from slavery?

I have six ships now sailing out
And seven more on sea
Three hundred and ten all jolly sailsmen
And they're all to wait on thee, my love
And they're all for to wait on thee

She dressed her baby neat and clean
And gave him kisses three
Saying, "Stay, stay here, my darling baby boy
And your father as company, my love
And your father as company"

She dressed herself in a suit of red
And her maiden's waist was green
And every town that they passed by
Sure, they took her to be some queen, my love
They took her to be some queen

We were not two days out at sea
And I'm sure we were not three
When this fair maid began to weep
And she wept most bitterly, my love
And she wept most bitterly

My curse, my curse, upon all seamen
Who brought me out on sea
And deprived me of my house-carpenter
On the banks of the Sweet Viledee, my love
On the banks of the Sweet Viledee

We were butt three days out on sea
And I'm sure we were not four
When this fair maid disappeared from the deck
And she sank to rise no more, my love
And she sank to rise no more

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 07:09 AM

Mrs. Ellen M. Sullivan of Springfield,VT, who gave Helen Hartness Flanders that most unusual version of "The House Carpenter", called "The Banks of Claudy", which was of some interest to Clinton Heylin in our discussion above, remembered this song from her childhood, growing up in County Cork, Ireland! Here is the Heylin discussion:


So this version comes out of a different stream of tradition, the "Irish", rather than the "Scotch-Irish".

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 08:57 PM

Here is some more detailed information about Edith Ballinger Price:

There is no mention in any of these materials about her being interested in ballads or about her having contributed any ballads to the Flanders' Collection. There is this reference: "Her other interests included gardening, ecology, playing violin and viola, restoration of historical sites, preservation of endangered species, involvement with humane societies and with the English Folk Dance Society."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 08:39 PM

First of all, an apology for acting like a ballad collector and giving Brian Peters' first name a number of different spellings! Sorry about that Brian.

Secondly, I Googled "Edith Ballenger Price." I thought I had done this. But obviously I had not. There is actually quite a bit of stuff out there on her. She was born April 26, 1897, and died September 29, 1997. She was an American author, who wrote a bunch of books, and she started the Brownie Scouts. Here are some links:

And finally, from Google, this snippet:

"1. Ballads Migrant in New England - As sung by Miss Edith Ballenger Price of Newport, Rhode Island. Learned about 1910 when a small child, from the singing of a friend in Amherst, Massachusetts ....        "

I don't know what song this refers to, and it doesn't come up in the Google Book, but if I had to guess, I would say that this refers to the same information that we have about Price's source for "The Daemon Lover", that she learned it " as a young girl from "a lady living in Massachusetts, whose forebears came from England"." So, there may be more information out there on this woman/person from Amherst, MA, whose family may have come from "England" .

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 09:53 PM

Edith Ballenger Price has one other ballad in Vol. III of ANCIENT BALLADS, which is a version of Child 200, "The Gypsy Davey." Her version is entitled "Gypsum Davey" and looks very much like some Southern versions. This was collected from Ms. Price by M. Olney. The comment says: "learned from Esther Morton Smith, who was singing this ballad before Cecil Sharp had collected in the Southern Appalachians." No word on who Esther Morton Smith was. Perhaps there are additional notes on all of this somewhere, but what we have available in ANCIENT BALLADS is enigmatic to say the least.

I notice on her album "Dad's Dinner Pail", Debra Cowen has two songs collected from Edith Ballinger Price: "Bold Richard" and "Cruel Brother" (Child #11). These come from the Flanders Collection.

I did find a preview of Flanders' BALLADS MIGRANT IN NEW ENGLAND on Google Books, but it is partial. While there are a number of songs and ballads from Rhode Island, none are from Edith (or Edward) Ballinger Price. The "Turtle Dove" version that we have mentioned above is in this collection.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 09:15 PM

Richard, I don't know who "Edward Ballinger Price" might be. Here is the reference from Roud above:

Source       Helen Hartness Flanders Collection (Middlebury College, Vermont) D46 A 13         
Performer       Price, Edward Ballinger         
Place collected       USA : Rhode Island : Newport         
Collector       Flanders, Helen Hartness

This looks like it is at Middlebury College. All I've had access to is Flanders' ANCIENT BALLADS TRADITIONALLY SUNG IN NEW ENGLAND, Vol. III (1963). It does say that these are"From the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont."

The version from Ms. Price was collected by "M. Olney" and according to the entry above the one from Mr. Price was collected by H.H. Flanders herself. As near as I can tell there is no mention of Mr. Edward Ballinger Price in Vol. III of ANCIENT BALLADS. I'm afraid the answer to this lies buried somewhere at Middlebury College, unless someone out there has discovered otherwise.

I am aware that Flanders had published at least five other collections of folk songs/ ballads from the New England region. I had assumed that there was a lot of overlapping and repeating among these publications and that the ANCIENT BALLADS was the final and definitive version of things. That may not be an accurate assumption at all. I don't know very much about this. When I get back to the library, I will try to check out some of these other books to see what's going on there.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 06:33 PM

Re:BTW2 It looks as if your right and it's been removed Richard. 67187 is there - Joe Rae singing Owre the Muir Amang the Heather, but 67188 (the number for the Daemon Lover above) has gone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 06:15 PM

It's taken me a fair old while to read this thread and some of the other documents linked to.

To pick up on the question of whether the Price version was derived from Motherwell: surely the conclusive piece of evidence is the word "gurly", which as Heylin points out is not in either of the Motherwell versions but is in the Kinloch version (Child D). Even if Motherwell was (directly or indirectly) Price's main source, she got at least that one word from somewhere else.

BTW is Edward Ballinger Price a mistranscription of Edith Ballenger Price or was he a real person (presumably related) with another version?

BTW2 I tried searching for the Joe Rae version on the Tobar an Dualchais site and drew a blank. If it was there, it has disappeared.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:35 PM

That should be "a very nice youtube."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:31 PM

Thanks for the link, GUEST 999. It gives us lyrics from A.L. Lloyd, Steeleye Span, Peter Bellamy and Jon Boden, and a very youtube of "Cara."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 02:28 PM

If that's been posted before, my apologies. The 'cat is taking so long to load stuff that I'm giving up for the day.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 01:23 PM

My post yesterday about "The Devil's Bride" chapter in Barbara Fass Leavy's book IN SEARCH OF THE SWAN MAIDEN, got me to thinking about my own originating story for this thread:


So old Robert Pond was a house carpenter in Dorchester, MA. He died there in 1637. About 55 years later, and 22 miles north there began the infamous Salem witch trials. Witches were accused of being "the Devil's Bride." While it would appear that there was only one North American version of our ballad that actually portrayed the man from the sea as at least supernatural and probably diabolical, it is somewhat ironical that this version supposedly was learned in Massachusetts! This was the version published by Flanders from Edith Ballenger Price of Rhode Island, collected in 1945. Supposedly, she learned it " as a young girl from "a lady living in Massachusetts, whose forebears came from England." Here is the link to that version:


Perhaps the cultural atmosphere of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century had something to do with why this ballad did not take root there. The Price version probably came over (in a book?) in the early part of the 19th century.

If the poor woman who left her house carpenter had made it back home, there is some likelihood she might have been burned as a witch, if she was from Massachusetts in the late 1600's. And of course, there is a link here to Dorchester! Check this out:

As far as I know, Mary Pond, who did marry a sea captain after the death of her first husband, Robert Pond the house carpenter, died of natural causes, probably in Cambridge.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 11:43 AM

As a followup on yesterday's note about the roles of women in relationship to this ballad, I wanted to mention an interesting study by Barbara Fass Leavy, called IN SEARCH OF THE SWAN MAIDEN: A NARRATIVE ON FOLKLORE AND GENDER. A good deal of her Chapter 3 entitled "The Devil's Bride" is devoted to "The Daemon Lover"/"The House Carpenter", and she also discusses it within a larger folklore context. She is definitely interested in how this ballad both reflects the feelings and plight of women and also what influence it may have had on both. And her discussion provides a telling critique of the long tradition of male-oriented interpretation of the ballad materials. Here is a link to this chapter:

It is interesting to compare the perspectives of Leavy, Gardner-Medwin, and Heylin. Gardner-Medwin wrote in 1971, Leavy in 1994, and Heylin in 1999. History is never "just history" and the interpretations do change and do depend upon time, place and frame of reference.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 12:04 PM

Hey, Gibb, thanks for getting back to us on this. You suggestion that this ballad is actually an inversion of what would likely be sung by a seaman is very interesting. One of the issues that we have not addressed in this discussion is who did sing this song. In his book, DYLAN'S DAEMON LOVER, which we have been referring to quite often, Clinton Heylin has a whole chapter on this, entitled "(xi) "Knitters in the sun," in which he suggests that this ballad was sung by women. He says:

"Though the knitters, milkmaids, shepherds and yeomen of the sixteenth century must have had a common store of ballads and lyrics, the overlap might not have been as great as scholars have perhaps imagined. The themes reverberating through 'The Dæmon Lover' suggest a song whose main appeal would have been to womenfolk. Would a ballad of such supernatural vengeance, which places the focus so roundly upon the woman and her broken vows, suggest composition by a well-versed sixteenth century yeoman (I say compose rather than write to neatly sidestep the contentious issue of whether such ballads were orally composed. I think not, but it does not fundamentally affect my argument)? Would such a song have been adopted by the travelling minstrel? 'The Dæmon Lover' certainly does not come across as a tavern song. On the other hand, the appeal to superstitious "knitters in the sun" dreaming of an escape from the drudgery of daily existence seems self-evident."

In looking over all of the sources mentioned so far on this thread, I find that sixteen are from women and ten are from men. This means that almost two thirds of the our versions were collected from women, with the assumption being that they actually were sung by them.

While Gardner-Medwin definitely focuses her study on what happens to the young woman in the ballad, it (having been published in 1971) predates the general rise of feminist scholarship in academia and betrays no hint of this influence, and thus does not raise the issue of who might have been actually singing this song, leaving intact the assumption that it was being passed along by the men - i.e. those Scottish tobacco traders!

Gibb's point about the ballad inverting the "normal" sailor's theme of some landsman stealing away his wife while he was at sea throws this issue into relief, in that we have a tale about a mariner stealing away a landsman's wife and taking her off to sea with him. But the story is really about the woman going willingly and then having "buyers regret!" It definitely echoes the theme that we find in Child #200, "The Gypsy Davey." And in fact, the Couchey version from NY, sung by Lee Knight, demonstrates this by actually combining the two ballads, almost seamlessly. Here is the Couchey/Knight version:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 11:19 AM

In the note above where Heylin is talking about the Canadian versions of "The House Carpenter" he says:

"In Nova Scotia, neither Helen Creighton nor W. Roy MacKenzie succeeded in tracking down one 'Dæmon Lover'. Creighton's haul was a mere eleven Child ballads."

Heylin does not mention a version that Creighton did find in New Brunswick, which was listed in the Roud index earlier in this thread, that I have overlooked. Here is the information on it:

"House Carpenter, The  (from IRELAND, W.E. of Elgin, New Brunswick
first line of song: 'Well met, well met, this pretty fair maid,) — September 1954"

Does anyone happen to have access to this? I can't find it online anywhere so I'll to look for it next time I'm at the library, which won't be for awhile.

Also, there are two other versions that are mentioned above for which we have no lyrics:

Mrs. Myra Daniels of East Calais, VT (This was not in Flanders' ANCIENT BALLADS. Perhaps it is in another of her books, which will have to wait until I get back to the library).

And, the version from Mort Montonyea of Sloatsburg, NY. This is on a LOC recording and I have not been able to find a transcription of it.

If anyone has access to any of these, please post the lyrics for us and send them to me and I will be glad to do it.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 05:36 PM

In a footnote to our ongoing discussion, I would like to add a suggested correction to one conclusion that Heylin draws. In this section, Heylin is discussing an important text from Virginia, collected by Winston Wilkinson from Miss Tyrah Lam of Elkton, Virginia in 1935. He suggests that this text is an important link between the English broadside and a separate English oral tradition:

"Though Clay Walters' rendition [from Kentucky] also includes two of the three verses in De Marsan not in Diverting Songs, it omits any reference to the "banks of Italy." A complete text containing all three 'orally-acquired' verses - drawn from a stream independent of either broadside - has been collected in twentieth century America. It suggests that a collision between (a derivative of) the English broadside and an entirely separate British oral tradition - resulting in the De Marsan derivative - occured in America before any naturalizing process had taken hold. This rare example of a British undercoat intact can be found in Winston Wilkinson's manuscript, housed at the University of Virginia. Collected by Mr. Wilkinson himself from a Miss Tyrah Lam in Elkton, Virginia in 1935, eight of the first eleven verses accord with the first eight verses of De Marsan. However, verse five preserves our banks of Italy:

If you will leave your house carpenter,
And go along with me.
I'll take you where the grass grows green,
On the banks of sweet Italy.15

The denouement, though, entirely omits the moralizing coda, concluding with the increasingly familiar visions of heaven and hell: (vss. 12 & 13)

What hills, what hills, my false true love,
What hills so black and blue?
The hills you see are the hills of Hell,
Awaiting both me and you.

What hills, what hills, my false true love,
What hills so white as snow?
The hills you see are the hills of Heaven,
Where you and I can't go.16

The reader may have started to think that there is nothing unusual about the hills' appearance in American tradition. Not so, my friend. Of the 86 versions in Bronson that qualify as more than fragments, just 14 feature these verses, barely more than those featuring "the banks of Italy."

The Lam text is central to any understanding of the relationship between the American 'House Carpenter' and its British parent. Though verses five and eight correspond to two of the three De Marsan verses unreplicated by the earlier English broadside, the reference to "the banks of sweet Italy" confirms a source preceding the De Marsan transliteration. The surely symbolic couplet, "She turned herself three times around/ And looked at her babies three," otherwise unreplicated in American tradition, suggests perhaps an Old World superstition designed to ward off evil. The reference in the third verse to having "forsaken those crowns of gold," may occur in A Collection Of Diverting Songs but it also crops up in Scottish oral tradition - in Motherwell (Child E), as "I refused the crown of gold," and in Buchan (Child C), as "I despised the crown o' gold," while the uniquely English description of golden slippers and gilded boats remains absent.

What we have in Lam are three verses that cannot be traced to either broadside - yet also occur in Walters' and Dylan's renditions - integrated into a version containing nine of the De Marsan verses. The similarities between Lam's and Dylan's renditions are striking (all of Dylan's ten verses have their equivalent here, save for his attack of amnesia at the end of verse six), though Lam has lost the anachronistic "fee" and Dylan has not. But it is unlikely Dylan had recourse to a direct derivative of Lam. In Lam's rendition the otherworldy status of the "false true love" (an oxymoron in the true sense) remains implicit at song's end, nor does Dylan provide an equivalent to Lam's second verse, which yields another core constituent of the ballad's most ancient tradition:

O hold your tongue of your former vows,
For they'll bring bitter strifes.
O hold your tongue of your former vows,
For I have become a wife.17

This begs an obvious question: what former vows?"

These comments are helpful in understanding and giving some context to the Andrews/De Marsan broadside that we have been looking at. However, the correction I want to suggest has to do with Heylin's comment about Dylan not having had access to the Lam manuscript.

As Heylin says, this manuscript is a part of the Winston Wilkinson collection at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. It is very probable that a friend of Dylan's not only had access to this collection and this version of "The House Carpenter," but worked with it. This was Paul Clayton (Worthington), who

"... attended the University of Virginia where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in English Literature. He continued with his graduate studies at the University of Virginia, studying folklore under professor, folklorist, and archivist Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr." (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Library Archives and Special Collections)

He lived in the mountains west of Charlottesville, up Brown's Cove, for a while. So it is entirely possible that Dylan did have access to this version through Paul Clayton Worthington. Here is a link that says a little bit more about Paul Clayton Worthington and Dylan.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 04:40 PM

I don't recall any sea versions; in a way, it is the quintessential anti-sailor song! :-) The sailor's song would usually be the "opposite" scenario, where the sailor returns to find his beloved taken another.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 04:23 PM

With regard to versions of "The Daemon Lover"/"The House Carpenter" found in either Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, Clinton Heylin has a nice summary of the evidence, or rather the lack of evidence. Kenneth Peacock's version from Newfoundland that we have discussed above is the only example found so far. Here is what Heylin has to say about this:

"The notion that American strains of 'The Dæmon Lover' were transplanted during the early waves of emigration, i.e. no later than the mid-eighteenth century, finds a form of reverse corroboration in the almost total absence of renditions from the coastal outposts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. These two English colonies were inhabited by British settlers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but in the case of Newfoundland the early settlers came almost exclusively from the Western counties of England - Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset - where the fishing trade had been a mainstay of the local economy for a thousand years. A list of settlers on the southern shore, compiled in 1675, contained only English names. The Irish began to settle there from 1713 on but Scots remained few and far between.

Nova Scotia, despite its name (New Scotland), bestowed on it in 1622 by Sir William Alexander, was not an inviting prospect for settlement until the French renounced all rights to the territory after the Seven Years War. As W.S. MacNutt observes, "The advance-guard of the great immigration of Highland Scots to Nova Scotia did not arrive until 1773, when The Hector came to Pictou via Philadelphia."7 Not until the period 1801-1803, when eleven ships from Scotland arrived at Pictou, can "the great immigration" be said to have begun in earnest.

These two territories, early British settlements, as isolated by the sea as any Virginian mountain-range, might have been expected to yield a commensurate amount of British popular ballads. The yield has, if anything, been disproportionately small. Maud Karpeles, who visited Newfoundland in 1929, later wrote, "I had hoped that Newfoundland might yield a wealth of songs comparable with the riches that Cecil Sharp and I had discovered in the Southern Appalachian Mountains a decade earlier."8 In fact, Karpeles found just 24 Child ballads - many badly mangled by tradition - in her excavations, compared with the 45 Child ballads Sharp and she had found in the hills of Eastern America. 'The Dæmon Lover', which had yielded 22 renditions in the Appalachians, failed to yield even a solitary fragment in Newfoundland. Kenneth Peacock's even more thorough excavations in the Fifties yielded but a single 'House Carpenter', and that an English broadside derivative. In Nova Scotia, neither Helen Creighton nor W. Roy MacKenzie succeeded in tracking down one 'Dæmon Lover'. Creighton's haul was a mere eleven Child ballads. MacKenzie reluctantly admitted, in his The Quest Of The Ballad, "I have not ceased to cherish the hope that I may yet extort from some crafty singer the admission that he knows 'a line or two' of 'James Harris' ... but so far I have had to content myself with the ... unsatisfying knowledge that [it was] ... once current in the northern part of Nova Scotia."9"

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 04:13 PM

Here is a bit more of Gardner-Medwin's argument for earlier, Scottish influence on the "House Carpenter" tradition in America. A question that arises out of her comments would be how did these Scottish-influenced traditions move from the Southern Appalachians north into the New England region? I think we are always assuming that everything was moving south and west and never the other direction. But surely that can't be accurate.

""The internal evidence from the words of the American versions of Child 243, which we have been examining, seems to point to a very strong Scottish influence. There is also a certain amount of evidence that the ballad was current in America some considerable time before it emerged in print in 1858. How far back can we reasonably make it? On the evidence furnished by the words themselves we can only say that there must have been several streams of influence from Scotland, and it is probable that the song had been in oral tradition in America for several generations of singers before the end of the nineteenth century."
"Ian Charles Cargill Graham shows that between 1707 and the American Revolution merchants of the port of Glasgow made themselves the chief traders of tobacco between Virginia and Europe.[30] As well as carrying tobacco these merchants established stores in the Fall Line towns of Virginia that became centers of trade and, I suggest, also of cultural exchange.[31] Moreover, although the factors themselves went back to Scotland at the time of the Revolution, there were settlers who stayed."
"Therefore, it seems reasonable to suppose that ballads from Lowland Scotland could have come to the Southern Appalachian area by one of two routes, either directly from Glasgow in the eighteenth century or via Pennsylvania after a stay of a generation or two in Ireland. With regard to the particular song under discussion it, was published as a broadside (Child B ) too late (1757) for it to have come via Ireland so it seems probable that this was a song that traveled to America with the Scottish tobacco traders."
"I am inclined to think that the Scottish element in the ancestry of "The House-Carpenter" is rather stronger than the English, and that the ballad must have migrated to America in several versions (the Scottish versions differ appreciably among themselves as well as from Child B) which have inter-related among themselves in America between 1775 and the present day. "
"I believe that the ballad known in Scotland as "The Demon Lover" and in America as "The House-Carpenter" came to the Southern Appalachian region from Scotland in the middle of the eighteenth century. There it was current in oral tradition, being changed in small details, such as the name" Tennessee" which reflects the local geography as known at an early date, and surviving until the twentieth century as a living entity. It gathered up elements, at times from other ballads, and in its turn influenced them. It was picked up in the mid-nineteenth century and printed at least twice( 1858 and 1860), and these printed versions combined with the oral tradition to reinforce some of the changes."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 04:05 PM

A part of our discussion has focused on the influence of the Andrews/De Marsan broadside on the traditions of "The House Carpenter" that have shown up in the New England region. We have certainly seen that there must have been other sources involved in the formation of these traditions. But the question of "when?" is very difficult to figure out. In her article, Gardner-Medwin is suggesting that these earlier traditions may have been Scottish and that they may have preceded the printing of the broadsides by several generations, and in fact may have established the oral traditions from which the broadsides were taken. Here is an example of two arguments that she offers in this direction.

"One or two minor points also suggest that when this ballad was published in 1860 it was taken from a tradition that had been flourishing in America for a long time. The change from Ship Carpenter to House Carpenter is perfectly understandable since American houses are largely made of wood, yet it would seem likely that if this ballad had not been current inland for some time before it was taken up by De Marsan there might have been less reason to change the name, for even as late as 1869 there were wood carpenters working in the shipbuilding industry of the coastal towns. In the American tradition there is a marked increase in the length of the voyage mentioned. One is only told of a short sail in the British versions: compare these phrases "not been long upon the sea" (Child B); "a league but barely three" (C); "a league, a league, A league but barely twa" (D); "A mile awa, Never a mile but one" (G); with De Marsan "They had not sailed four weeks or more, Four weeks or scarcely three."Many American versions have this long voyage and it is possible that this reveals that the singers remembered the long and dreary voyage across the Atlantic that they or their forebears endured when emigrating. By the end of the nineteenth century the trans-Atlantic voyage was rather shorter than this, perhaps two weeks on the average, so the change must have taken place well before the printing of the De Marsan version."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 10:36 AM

One of the remarkable characteristics of the Andrews/De Marsan broadside printed in Philadelphia and New York City in 1858/1860 is the reference to "the banks of the old Tennessee," referring to the Tennessee River. We have noted that the only Northeastern version that has this that we have been able to find so far is the one from Jennie Devlin.

In her essay, Gardner-Medwin has a very interesting theory about "the old Tennessee." Rather than try to summarize it, I will print another long quote from her article:

"Let us look more closely at the mysterious land to which the young woman is beckoned. In America the use has changed markedly, from the seducer saying "I will shew you how the lilies grow, On the banks of Italy" (FI2) to "I will take you where the grass grows high, On the banks of old Tennessee" (De Marsan 3 ). It is evident that when this was printed this place-name had already undergone the changes noted by W.Edson Richmond.' [13] There are, as will be seen from his article, a great many American substitutes for "Italy." Some of them are nonsensical, but sound like it (for example, "sweet Da Dee," "sweet Willie"); some represent a memory that the journey was a sea journey ("salt water sea"); some show an attempt to place the song in a geographical context familiar to the hearers, and of these "Tennessee" is an example. It has a similar rhythm to "Italy" but is otherwise not very like it; moreover the Tennessee is a river, and it is obvious from the context in De Marsan that a sea voyage of three or four weeks is contemplated. It is interesting to note in this connection that there was a belief among the early settlers that a mysterious western sea lay only as far to the west of the Appalachian watershed as the Atlantic lay to the east. There is an early map made by Farrer in 1651 that shows this slim American continent. [14] In 'A Perfect Description of Virginia', Farrer puts this belief into words' [15] He says:

"From the head of the James River above the falls ... will be found like rivers issuing into a south sea or a west sea, on the other side of those hills, as there is on this side, where they run from the west down to the east sea after a course of one hundred and fifty miles; but of this certainty Henry Briggs, that most judicious and learned mathematician, wrote a small tractate and presented it to the noble earl of Southampton, the governor of the Virginia Company in England anno 1623.

Briggs says there is a sea "on the other side of the mountains beyond our falls which openeth a free and fair passage to China."[16]

These geographical tracts were of course written at a much earlier date than that from which we have the ballad, and by the time the De Marsan broadside was printed it was well known that the Tennessee was a tributary of the Mississippi. However, since I am suggesting that the ballad arrived in America some considerable time before the 1860 printing let us look for a possible clue to the date that the river acquired the name "Tennessee". Here again maps are very helpful. In 1760 A New Map of the Cherokee Nation was published; the river there is called "Cherokees or Hogehegee River," and there is a settlement on it called "Tunnassee."[17] In a sketch map of about 1783 the river is called "Tenefee"; [18] by 1794 both the river and the state are called "Tennassee." [19] If I am correct in my belief that the ballad came to the Appalachian Mountains before 1775, then it would seem not impossible that the name "Tennessee" was substituted for "Italy" because the old belief in a western sea just beyond the mountains had not yet been superseded by the correct knowledge of the geography of the rivers and perhaps also because Tennessee represented the mysterious and beckoning west.

The position within the ballad which this verse occupies is significant. In the Scottish versions it appears late in the story, after the young woman has discovered what the situation is and has started to weep. In many American versions it appears right at the beginning, as if this were the one promise that would persuade the young woman to leave. In De Marsan it appears in both positions; a closer look at the broadside shows that there is a significant change in the words the second time this verse appears.

De Marsan 3.
"If you will forsake your House-Carpenter,
And go along with me,
I will take you to where the grass grows high,
On the banks of old Tennessee!"

De Marsan 10.
"Oh, dry up your tears, my own true love,
And cease your weeping," cried he,
"For soon you'll see your own happy home,
On the banks of old Tennessee."

The first six lines are very like the Scottish versions and they appear in the American position and again in the Scottish one, after she weeps. Indeed the first two lines are close to the Scottish (see FI 2). However, all hint of mystery has evaporated in the last two lines: the demon lover has become the most ordinary of seducers and all he offers is "Your own happy home." This is far from the Scottish tradition, and indeed is not often found in American versions. Nearly all of the versions published by Bronson consistently give this promise as the inducement to leave and omit it from the end of the story. [20] Three of his examples( 54, 71, and 94) repeat the verse at the end, and only 94 changes the words as De Marsan does. If De Marsan had been influential in the spread of this ballad in America, one would expect to find a larger percentage of versions following this particular change."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 09:25 PM

In her discussion about comparing the examples in Child taken from the Scottish oral tradition with the De Marsan broadside (and other American versions, including a number from New England) Gardner-Medwin says, specifically with regard to the verse about putting and and parading riches:

"The other element which is present in the Scottish group and in some American variants, but not in De Marsan's broadside, is the finery that the young woman dresses up in before she leaves. (This finery should be distinguished from his offer to her of fine clothing.) Compare this verse from the Scottish side with the American one.

CHILD D, vs. 13

She's drawn the slippers on her feet,
Were covered o'er with gold,
Well lined within wi velvet fine,
To hide her frae the cold.
(See also D4 and perhaps E8)

BRONSON 2, vs 4

She dressed herself as in a yellow rose,
Most glorious to behold,
And she walked the streets all round and about,
And shined like glittering gold.

(See also Bronson 9, 25, 27, 32, 33, 34, 47, 50 etc.)

It will be observed that this element is frequent in America. It is found in versions from the Southern Appalachians, and interestingly enough, it is also found in New England. Helen Hartness Flanders collected many versions of this ballad, and Tristram P. Coffin, who wrote the critical analyses for the collection, felt that the Flanders versions were much affected by the popularity of the song in print. He says:

"Most of the texts follow De Marsan's song, which is similar to Child B, rather faithfully, but he probably took his version from established oral tradition." [25]

It is true that these New England versions are very like De Marsan, and indeed we know that a copy of De Marsan's broadside came north, for there is one in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Massachusetts, nevertheless six of the sixteen versions published by Helen Hartness Flanders contain the verse describing the young woman who dresses herself up, and walks up and down, and who looks like "a glittering queen."[26]

This image could have come to New England directly from Scotland or more probably from the oral tradition current in America, since the Flanders versions are closer to the Southern Appalachian ones than to the Scottish. While it is possible that other American broadside versions existed and were later lost, evidence points to a widespread currency of the ballad in American oral tradition, quite apart from the influence of the De Marsan broadside."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 09:09 PM

With regard to the version in the Flanders collection from Edith Ballenger Price of Newport, Rlhode Island, entitled "The Daemon Lover", which is so completely different from all of the other versions found in the Northeast, and probably throughout North America, and about which Brian Peters and I have expressed some skepticism, Alisoun Gardner-Medwin says in her article:

"It is possible that a copy of this book [the 1812 edition of Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border] was brought to America and provided a source for some versions. It is interesting to note here that one of the versions collected by Helen Hartness Flanders [the Price version] is so close verbally to F that it must have been taken from Scott's book not long before it was recorded. [23] The influence of Scott's book can be observed in a comment found in a letter from Margaret Reburn of Iowa, to Child in 1881, where she mentions that she has seen a volume of Scott's Minstrelsy. Apart from a volume of songs, whose title she could not remember, this was the only printed book containing ballads that she had seen.[24]"

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: John Minear
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 10:48 AM

Hey Gibb, thanks. I was wondering if this song ever shows up on board an actual ship anywhere? It has nautical themes. Of course many versions end by cursing all sea-faring men, but still, it's a good story. I have not come across it in any of the sea-going materials I have looked at. But we know that it went to sea at least once when it crossed the Atlantic. And more than likely it came over many times and might even have gone back the other way as well (Alisoun Gardner-Medwin).

In her, now forty-year old - this is hard to believe! - article, entitled "The Ancestry of "The House-Carpenter": A Study of the Family History of the American Forms of Child 243" [which Mick Pearce has noted above], Gardner-Medwin suggests that the Scottish versions of this ballad may have come over, before the American Revolutionary War, with the Scottish tobacco traders, who came over from Scotland specifically to run the tobacco trading facilities in the port cities on the Atlantic coast, especially in Virginia and the Carolinas. Apparently they never intended to be permanent residents and many returned to Scotland when the war broke out. But if they were conveyers of the ballad, they certainly had constant access to sea going folks.

Gardner-Medwin says: "I believe that this ballad flourished here for at least two generations before it was printed [in 1858 & 1860]." And she says in the paragraph just before this statement that the printed "...English form of the ballad is by no means the only ancestor of the American "The House- Carpenter " and perhaps this essay will show that the connections with the Scottish side of the family are even stronger ." She goes on to suggest that there are "definite Scottish element(s)" to be found even in the De Marsan broadside, pointing back to earlier oral tradition. Gardner-Medwin says:

"...there are three verses in De Marsan that could not have come from the English B [version in Child] and are like verses found only in Scottish tradition. They are verses , where she takes the baby on her knee and kisses it, and the two verses in which the seducer says he will take the woman to a promised land (verses 3 and 10). Therefore there must have been influence from Scotland in the ballad before De Marsan printed it.....Where and when this mixing of the English broadside tradition and the Scottish oral tradition took place cannot be shown from this evidence alone, but I think that further investigation of the American tradition will show that it took place well before 1860 and probably in America."

At this point, I have to admit that I have only recently, with the advent of this particular thread, dived into any scholarship on this ballad. I am wondering if there is any more recent study of this ballad in its American context, since Gardner-Medwin's 1971 article. I know that forty years may or may not be very long ago in an academic context, but is there anything more recent? In addition to the Heylin book from 1999? Taking a quick look at Heylin's rather extensive bibliography, nothing leaps out at me. There is an article by David Atkinson on "Maarriage & Retribution in 'James Harris'" in FOLK MUSIC JOURNAL vol. 5 no. 5, 1989, but I would assume this does not focus on American versions.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Demon Lover in New England?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 03:24 AM

Nice work -- good quality Mudcat stuff!

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