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Incest ballads

Related thread:
Songs about Incest (86)


Phil Edwards 22 Feb 12 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Feb 12 - 04:13 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Feb 12 - 04:14 AM
tijuanatime 22 Feb 12 - 04:16 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Feb 12 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Feb 12 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Feb 12 - 07:27 AM
ChillToad 22 Feb 12 - 07:31 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Feb 12 - 07:37 AM
ChillToad 22 Feb 12 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 22 Feb 12 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Feb 12 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,CS 22 Feb 12 - 11:52 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Feb 12 - 12:04 PM
Gutcher 22 Feb 12 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,CS 22 Feb 12 - 12:50 PM
Gutcher 22 Feb 12 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,CS 22 Feb 12 - 01:32 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Feb 12 - 01:37 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Feb 12 - 02:08 PM
Gutcher 22 Feb 12 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,CS 22 Feb 12 - 03:24 PM
Gutcher 22 Feb 12 - 03:58 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Feb 12 - 05:14 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Feb 12 - 05:35 PM
Phil Edwards 23 Feb 12 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Feb 12 - 06:45 AM
Brian Peters 23 Feb 12 - 07:25 AM
Phil Edwards 23 Feb 12 - 11:23 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Feb 12 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 02 Mar 12 - 09:58 AM
Mrrzy 02 Mar 12 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 02 Mar 12 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 02 Mar 12 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 Mar 12 - 07:02 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Mar 12 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 11 Mar 12 - 05:40 AM
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Subject: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 03:39 AM

(Originally posted to the Fifty-Two Folk Songs thread.)

Francis Child collected four ballads on the theme of brother-sister incest: Lizzie Wan, Sheath and Knife, the King's Dochter Lady Jean and the Bonny Hind. There's an odd little network of resemblances among the four ballads.

In Lady Jean and the Bonny Hind, the two lovers don't know each other and are horrified to realise that they are related; both Lizzie Wan and Sheath and Knife feature a long-term incestuous relationship, with pregnancy as the trigger for the crisis. The Bonny Hind and Sheath and Knife both focus on the brother's state of mind after the sister is dead, and in particular his inability to talk about it; in Lizzie Wan the brother is unwilling to talk, but his mother gets the story out of him. The sister's death is suicide in the Bonny Hind and Lady Jean, murder in Lizzie Wan and a kind of suicide-by-proxy in Sheath and Knife.

Are they related? If I had to guess I would say that Lady Jean and Lizzie Wan were composed separately, with the Bonny Hind developing out of Lady Jean, and Sheath and Knife coming last, combining the basic setup of Lizzie Wan with elements of the Bonny Hind. But this is complete speculation.

I've never heard anyone do the King's Dochter Lady Jean, incidentally; it might be due for a revival.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 04:13 AM

I used to sing Child #52 20 years ago; maybe it's time to dig it out?


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 04:14 AM

Aren't the dead children in, for example "Fine Flowers in the Valley" the result of incest?


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: tijuanatime
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 04:16 AM

Tim Eriksen has recorded a version, as 'Queen Jane' on the album 'Soul of the January Hills', and there's a version on FifeSing 6: There's Bound To Be A Row (Springthyme), sung by Jo Miller


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 05:09 AM

Richard - ah, the well beneath the palmers in the valley in that film with all the bodhran-O... That's father-daughter incest, though - a bit different.

TT - those are both going on my list. That Tim Eriksen album sounds extraordinary.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 06:36 AM

That's father-daughter incest, though - a bit different.

Aren't some of them fathered by her brother too?

In any case, there's the sort of knowing loving incest (implied in Lucy Wan) and the unwitting incest consequent on sexual violence (graphically portrayed in Lady Jean) - as such it seems closer in spirit to the Bonny Banks o' Airdrie / Fordie. Looking at Lucy Wan I think it's more of a matter of a step-sibling relationship gone rather awry, which echoes less explicitly elsewhere (Edward) on account of its gravity, no doubt, but the real dramatic meat of the thing lies in the creepy Oedipal dialogue between the protagonist and his mother, who seems more bothered about what will happen to her son when her husband finds out he's just offed poor Lucy.


What larks, eh Pip?

And anything by Tim Erikson is bound to be amazing. Is that the one he field-recorded in an old water tower or am I getting mixed up with something else??


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 07:27 AM

PS - Singing through Lady Jean just now I'm minded of why I stopped singing it 20 years ago, though it's not without its poetic & narrative charms. I'd say the rape cancels out sex; although incest covers both. However so irregular the brother-sister sex in Lucy Wan, I still feel that Geordie didn't rape her.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: ChillToad
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 07:31 AM

Nic Jones commented on his album notes (Nic Jones 1971) re the track 'Edward':

"This is more or less a version of a large group of songs under the various titles of Edward, Lizzie Wan, Lucy Wan, What Blood is This?, etc. In this version the whole incident turns on the seemingly irrelevant statement:

    It's all about a little holly bush
    That might have made a tree."

Presumably the "little holly bush" is a reference to the sister's pregnancy.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 07:37 AM

Cut her head off, though, which wasn't very filial.

Yes, Lady Jean is specifically a rape ballad - the incest is bad but the rape element passes without much comment, which leaves a bit of a bad taste. Not quite as nasty as ...Fordie, though - Nic Jones's cheery rendition of that one put a definite question mark over his taste in songs for me.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: ChillToad
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 10:52 AM

Banks of Fordie ... never could understand why he didn't recognise any of his sisters nor they him. (slightly off topic, sorry).


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 11:31 AM

For an incest ballad that Professor Child overlooked, listen to Packie Byrne's "The Rich Man's Daughter" on the Veteran CD "Donegal and Back" - VT132CD.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 11:41 AM

Maybe he suffered thus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopagnosia

Or maybe he hadn't seen them for a wee while either...


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 11:52 AM

"Aren't some of them fathered by her brother too?"

And her uncle - she appears to have been used by them all considering the quantity of aborted bastards. Not apparently an uncommon (if taboo) practice of taking the elder daughter as a wife in backwards rural communities.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 12:04 PM

One thing I liked about the King's Dochter Jean is the way that it fills in the passage of time - he knew he had a sister, he'd even seen her, but only several years ago.

I think it was Alan Moore who talked about tracking down his birth mother (having been adopted), and finding that his first impulse when they finally met was sexual. I've heard similar stories about brothers and sisters separated at birth; I guess a blood relation really is "your type".


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Gutcher
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 12:30 PM

Did the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs not "marry" their daughters?                                                       One cannot claim that they were from a backward rural community.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 12:50 PM

"One cannot claim that they were from a backward rural community."

Mmm, I didn't make that claim of course. Nor make any reference to ancient Egyptian Pharonic custom whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Gutcher
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 01:12 PM

The point is that fathers sleeping with their daughters, is, and was, not unknown in all classes and at all periods in the history of the human race. So why even mention it as pertaining to one class or group if you do not wish the finger to be pointed at that particular group.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 01:32 PM

Well, we're not discussing what was normative in all cultures and times. The Ballads under discussion arose in 'Christian' communities of the British Isles where incest was taboo, not in ancient Egyptian (or indeed ancient Chinese) where it was not.

Much the same situation might be said to be found in more recent times with Catholic Church in many poor countries - whereby boy children were/are used sexually by older more powerful individuals within a community which while outwardly rejecting such practices, yet knows and turns a blind eye to it.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 01:37 PM

Pip Radish raises an interesting point about the relationship between these ballads. It is worth noting that all of them are very scarce ballads. You could say this was possibly because of their subject matter. OR there could be other reasons. One could certainly have inspired all of them and they are riddled with commonplaces and have whole sections which could have been taken from other ballads as often happens. I'm not convinced about Child's attempts to relate them to Scandinavian ballads, but to be fair he is only pointing out similarities. More than one of them is first found in Herd's manuscripts and the others could easily have been fabricated from these. If we bring Motherwell, Buchan and Scott into the equasion, these are not always reliable sources. (IMHO)

ChillToad,
The tree couplet is from 'Edward' (Spits in disgust) and has only been interpolated into hybrid versions of the Two brothers. It doesn't occur in the incest ballads and there is no need at all to imply any symbolism of any sort. It is simply a way of saying he killed his brother over something trivial (IMHO).


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 02:08 PM

'Edward' (Spits in disgust)

???


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Gutcher
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 02:48 PM

Motherwell collected Sheath and Knife from an old lady in the weaving village of Kilbarchan in the early part of the 19th.C.

This village was a hotbed of radical weaver poets, a number of whom had to flee to the colonies to escape the long arm of the law.

A well known fact, just prior to the period we are discussing, was the birth of a son to the niece and nephew of the "Butcher Cumberland" {he of the ethnic cleansing of the Scottish Highlands] this would be a gift to these poets and one could well imagine one of them having a hand in the production of this ballad. For obvious reasons the ballad would be couched in antique langauge with the authors name being withheld.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 03:24 PM

Not sure what you're arguing here?
It seems you're arguing FOR the normalcy of incest in ALL cultures including those under discussion (based upon it's known presence in antiquity)
AND at the same time the ABSENCE of such customs in the particular cultures under discussion, based upon a notion of a prejudice of some supposed Ballad singers against the customs of those same cultures?


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Gutcher
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 03:58 PM

By its very nature few cases come to light. The only fairly recent one that comes to mind was when a lady, who was neither poor nor rural,went missing. The police discovered from the various tests taken that the ladies father was the father of her child.
I do not make judgment, all can see that neither wealth nor class is immune from what normal people deplore.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 05:14 PM

Pip Radish,
I have often expressed my disgust at the use of the title 'Edward' simply because it's the one Child felt compelled to use. It is the only known version that has the name, being an antiquified literary version sent to Percy by a Scots Laird and published by him in Reliques. Since Child's time many English, Scottish and American versions have turned up, none of them using the name 'Edward'. The Percy version was hailed by many literary people at the time, but it was like something out of Chaucer. Unfortunately the version the poem was concocted from hasn't survived.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 05:35 PM

BTW love the trad ballad, hate the literary version.

Nice one, Gutcher. As usual, fascinating historical background.

Can't find Packie's 'The Rich Man's Daughter'. Is it in the DT in some form?


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 04:54 AM

Steve G -

Interesting! The 'antiquified' version - and I agree, the language is pretty dreadful, although I'd say it's imitation Dunbar rather than Chaucer - is Child 13B; 13A has the refrain "Son Davie, son Davie".

In light of the way the song's developed in revival forms, it's interesting that 13B doesn't have anything about the quarrel, & has 'Edward' killing his father. 13A has him killing his brother, and

'It began about the cutting of a willow wand
That would never been a tree.'

There's only one other variant, 13C, which consists in its entirety of the 'quarrel' verse:

'It began about the breaking o the bonny hazel wand,
And a penny wad hae bought the tree.'

Which is a nice way of saying 'something really trivial', and avoids the suggestion that it was the beginning of something non-trivial.

There's a lot of crossover with the Twa Brothers, to the point where it's not obvious that 'Edward' (or whatever we're going to call it) really was a separate ballad. The 'quarrel' verse isn't in any of Child's Twa Brothers variants, though.

And I'm guessing that there's no support in traditional sources for Edward/Davie/whoever killing his sister - and hence no real connection with Lizzie Wan & co.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 06:45 AM

Incest does not get better than Anna Månsdotter, the last woman to be executed (beheaded 1890 -ax man missed and left her jaw attached) in Sweden
An immoral relationship between mother and son.
The mother kills the son's wife.
Twisted confessions.
Mother executed.
Son imprisoned.
A Swedish classical tale of dark-winter-nights.

The Ballad of Per Nilsson and His Beloved Mother From Hell




It was one o´clock on Christmas Eve
When a killer serving life was set free
Wiven mercy by the swedish government
After spending thirty-three years in jail

But the story shouldn´t start there
Let´s go back to where it all begun
The day of Per Nilsson´s confirmation
When his mother made herself his bride

They said she took her son for a lover
Although her husband he was still alive
A few years later her man was dead ,money gone
And she was forced to find a wife for her son

It sure is hard to find a willing bride
When someone has a reputation of a devil
Tall handsome Per Nilsson they all liked
But his mother Anna she would scare them

But seek and you will find they say
And they found a rich man´s daughter
Poor sweet Hanna innocent and only twenty-one
Fell for the way he sung and played accordian

They became man and wife but only on paper
Not one night poor Hanna had him as a lover
She didn´t know of this promise to his mother
Anna made him swear never to be with another

Once she left travelled back to her parents
But her father said they belonged together
Hasty words that he would later much regret
Some said they drove him to an early grave

Hanna still trying to win Per Nilsson´s love
Brought a used pillow-case to an old witch
A few days later got from Per her first kiss
A happy day in life but next to last for her

They found her lying dead at the cellar stairs
Thought she had fallen until they saw her neck
A red stripe showing made the court believe
That Anna strangled Hanna with just one hand

At the trial Per tried to take all the blame
Claimed his mother was not present at the scene
But admitted the devil helped him kill his wife
Then to dress the corpse and carry it downstairs

Several trials followed different stories told
Finally they found themselves sentenced to death
Soon after wrote the king asking for his mercy
Can you guess which one of them that got lucky

Anna thought she needed a whole life to repent
Salvation she would not find if killed too soon
Hoped to live long enough to find peace of mind
But Per with help from friends he was the one

Fifty men wrote the king in support of him
Everyone believed his mother was to blame
Per wasn´t an angel,but Anna was the devil
He was sentenced to life,his mother to death

Sent to jail first three years in a single cell
Poor Per never got to meet his mother again
She spent two months waiting for her death
A young priest tried hard to save her soul

Of the holy communion she didn´t want to hear
Of sin and God´s forgivness she wouldn´t speak
Although in court she had admit to everything
In front of God you would not see her kneel

Six weeks fighting for a soul that he lost
No wonder the priest he looked like a ghost
When pale he lead Anna towards the scaffold
The executioner with his axe behind the back

He´s got a brand new uniform with gold stripes
His first kill, has practised chopping in wood
The spectators are smoking cigars to calm down
The priest ready to faint, he was never the same

The reporters they wrote from the sad event
Said she was beautifully dressed in white
With big eyes that glowed and looked around
Sobbed like a child when she bowed her head

Leaving Anna now the last woman to be killed
Early one august morning in the year of 1890
Time to get back where the ballad started
With Per Nilsson and the time of his release

He left jail on Christmas Eve headed right home
Just to see the early service on Christmas Day
Then settled for a new life in a little village
Forgiving neighbours helped him build a house

Binding books for a living,spare time in his garden
In church he lead the choire and he played the organ
Just like he did in prison serving time for murder
Of that he never spoke and neither of his mother

Died five years after his release from prison
Suffering from a lung disease like his father
The people in the village had treated him good
With reverence thinking he had suffered enough

Many came to say one last farewell at his funeral
They all brought many flowers and held cermonials
Everyone seemed to pity him and before his death
He even received forgivness from Hanna´s parents

The last years he often visited his wife´s grave
He talked of an inner force that drove him there
It could be read in his diary that they found
More than fifty years after that he had died

Sad were the words he wrote about the first time
That he stood by her stone and read what it said
"...murdered by her husband Per Nilsson and his mother....
The poor woman's prayers and tears didn´t move them at all"





(a personae who uses the name "Polarbear" states that he has been translating Swedish poetry into English...so of course it does not scan/rhyme.)



www.allpoetry.com/poem/4992891-The_ballad_of_Per_Nilsson_and_his_beloved_mother_from_Hell.-by-polarbear



www.bangkok-life-susanna.blogspot.com/2009/06/yngsjomordet.html





Sincerely,

Gargoyle




WONDERFUL - film clip - close to the original photographic recordWARNING - Not for the squemish

Yngsjömordet (1966) from VaulKeeper


www.youtube.com/watch?v=crwYOJfnc0A


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 07:25 AM

"There's a lot of crossover with the Twa Brothers, to the point where it's not obvious that 'Edward' (or whatever we're going to call it) really was a separate ballad."

We had a discussion about the relationship between 'Edward'(13) and 'The Twa Brothers'(49) recently - my contribution starts here.

I see several distinctive features in 49 that aren't in 13, and suggest that the presence of "What's that Blood?" ansd "When Will You Return?" verses in some texts of 49 (though remarkably few of the American oral versions) probably represents an interpolation. I'd be interest to know what Steve G thinks.

"no real connection with Lizzie Wan"

Again if you look at the oral versions - which generally lack all that stuff about heads and bodies getting chopped up, or indeed any description of the murder at all - both 13 and 51 usually consist of "What's the Blood?" and "What Will You Do?" sequences and are often virtually indistinguishable.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 11:23 AM

Interesting - so whether LW is a separate ballad depends on how much importance you give to content (sister + incest vs brother) as opposed to form.

Perhaps I should take this to the other thread, but I'm not sure how much weight should be given to the unstaunchable wound as a distinctive feature of Twa Brothers - there was a folk belief that a murderer could never staunch the wound [s]he'd inflicted, to the point where the touch of the murderer's hand was supposed to open up wounds that had closed (as in Young Hunting).


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 04:20 PM

Brian,
'Probably' is about as far as you can go with these things, but I certainly wouldn't argue with what you say. I have seen somewhere an analysis line by line of all versions of 13. Might be in the recent Journals. I'll have a look.

One way to analyse all of these related ballads is to take away all of the material they have in common and look at what's left in each one. The movement of whole sequences of stanzas (motifs) from one ballad to another is quite common. Broadside hacks used it and the antiquarians used it to beef up their versions. During the early 19th century and probably earlier it seems to have been the norm. It must have happened in oral tradition as well.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 09:58 AM

Twenty years on, I figure it's cool, so long as the offending verse deals with loving consensual sex rather than rape. That way, the unwitting incest carries more weight & resonates with Soapy themes explored with relish in recent times in TV and literature alike.

Anyway, I recorded this just now:

http://soundcloud.com/sedayne-fiddlesangs/the-kings-dochter-lady-jean


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 12:12 PM

Odd and possibly separate connection - in a version of the two brothers that we had, I will remember the balladeer later, there is a question-and-answer between the mother and one of her sons, where he tries to say that the blood on his clothes is from a horse, or a dog, but is finally brought to confess that he killed his brother, and here is the connection:

Because he cut that chestnut bush
That might have been a tree tree tree
That might have been a tree

It never occurred to me that the tree-cutting would be metaphorical, we all just thought it was a bloody stupid reason for fratricide. Ha ha.

Maybe brother got to the virgin first? Or somehow got rid of a pregnancy his brother started?

Shep Ginandes? Dean Gibson? I think it was a record from the G's in my parents' collection of folk singers...

Otherwise I have no background of incest in all the pregnancy-causes-death (of girlfriend by boyfriend, of girlfriend by self, or of babies by girlfriend) ballads I know.

Hmmm. Don't think I know any where the MAN kills the babies, either.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 12:34 PM

Okay - singing Child #52 through in the shower just now (not a thought I want to put in anyone's head) I decided there was no way I want to imply rape, so I freestyled a verse (and a bit) to make the encounter more consensual & give Lady Jean a more proactive role in the proceedings:

So he took her by the middle so sma'
An they've danced around aroond the green
And they laughed and they sang til the need it was done -
An she bade him dae't again, my luve, she bade him dae't again.

Now sin ye have got your will o me,
Pray tell to me yoir name,
For I am the King's young dochter Jean
And this night I'll e'er gang hame my luve, this night I'll ne'er gang hame


Sacriledge? Maybe so, but I reckon it sets up the rest of the ballad just fine & makes for a better tension. Anyway, soon as I got out the shower, I recorded it, towel clad and dripping, up to the point it all goes sour...

http://soundcloud.com/sedayne-fiddlesangs/lady-jean-child-52-amended-2-3


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 12:39 PM

That should be:

So he took her by the middle so sma'
An they've danced aroond the green
And they laughed and they sang til the deed it was done -
An she bade him dae't again, my luve, she bade him dae't again.

Now sin ye have got your will o' me,
Pray tell to me your name,
For I am the King's young dochter Jean
And this night I'll e'er gang hame, my luve, this night I'll ne'er gang hame


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 07:02 AM

Giving this thing further condideration...

Having got rid of the pointless rape and given Lady Jean a more proactive role in the proceedings (it now goes:

So SHE took HIM by the middle so sma'
An she's danced him roond the green
And she laughed and she sang til the deed it was done -
An she bade him dae't again, my luve, she bade him dae't again.

And he said 'Now sin ye hae got your will o' me,
Pray tell to me your name,'
'Oh I am the King's young dochter Jean -
But this night I'll ne'er gang hame, my luve, this night I'll ne'er gang hame
)

I've decided there's no way this is cause for any sort of shame at all, much less a double suicide. So after the brother mithers on about wishing his pretty ship had sunk, Lady Jean brushes his concerns aside thus:

'Oh, brother dearest luve, I couldna gie a nit,
Not for God nor for the law;
So come awa wi me in the merry green wood,
Where we'll live as white as snae, my luve,
we'll live as white as snae.'


So they live happily ever after, or for a week or two, until she gets bored with his mithering (& consequent impotence) and runs him through with his sword to return home:

'Oh what's that red that stains your petticoats?
Come tell me, Lady Jean' -
'Oh tis nothing but the glint o' my monthly bloody flow,
That came on yestere'en, my luve,
that came on yestere'en'


End of ballad.


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 01:33 PM

Thankfully!


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Subject: RE: Incest ballads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 11 Mar 12 - 05:40 AM

The usual thing on Mudcat, Steve, is to ignore those posts that you don't like, or that go over your head, or else fail to to chime in with your particular thang, especially those which involve the creative efforts of another forum member. The passing of unhelpful or otherwise hostile comments is very definite no-no I'm afraid.

50% of my post there is serious, whilst the latter two verses are an ill-advised in-joke; ill-advised in this context alas - other ballad afficianados I've shared it with have laughed heartily, hence my sharing it on Mudcat's howling wastes, where the only sign of humanity is the occasional twitch of a net curtain and a pale ghostly face peering watch the tumbleweed rolling by.


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Mudcat time: 19 July 10:27 PM EDT

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