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Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2

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Richie 06 Mar 12 - 09:04 AM
Richie 06 Mar 12 - 09:19 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Mar 12 - 09:46 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Mar 12 - 09:48 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Mar 12 - 09:51 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Mar 12 - 09:57 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Mar 12 - 10:31 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Mar 12 - 10:37 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Mar 12 - 10:52 AM
Richie 06 Mar 12 - 12:50 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Mar 12 - 02:36 PM
Richie 06 Mar 12 - 08:50 PM
Richie 06 Mar 12 - 08:55 PM
Richie 07 Mar 12 - 08:27 AM
Richie 08 Mar 12 - 11:25 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Mar 12 - 03:45 PM
Richie 02 Apr 12 - 08:33 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Apr 12 - 09:02 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Apr 12 - 09:17 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Apr 12 - 11:26 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Apr 12 - 11:31 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Apr 12 - 11:32 AM
Richie 02 Apr 12 - 01:01 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Apr 12 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,julia L 02 Apr 12 - 11:20 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Apr 12 - 10:47 AM
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Subject: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:04 AM

Hi,

This is a continuation of the thread--Child Ballads: US Versions. I'm studying the Child ballads and putting text and music on my web-site: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/the-305-child-ballads.aspx

So far we've looked at ballads 1-53. My focus is on the US and Canadian versions but I'm also including Child's narrative and the English and other versions.

Recently I've started and nearly completed Child 54, the Cherry Tree Carol: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/54-the-cherry-tree-carol.aspx

If anyone has any additional versions of The Cherry Tree Carol please post them.

TY for the help and contributions you have made to this study. There are new insights, additions and corrections that we have made.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:19 AM

Hi,

I've started 56. Dives and Lazarus and need the text to a version collected by Sharp in EFSSA titled "Lazarus" Sung by Mr. & Mrs. Gabriel Coats. There's another version by Mrs. Laura Beckett.   

Need the version from G. P. Jackson, Down East Spirituals. I'm especially interested in the shape-note connection.

I'm missing most the the US version- the ones collected by Gainer, Kirkland and Flanders I don't have.

Anyone?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:46 AM

Richie
I have EFSSA, some Gainer material possibly and Flanders. But before I check these out have you made any progress yet with Flanders 53?
See my suggestion at the end of the last thread, which was to let you have a list of the sources for the 22 Flanders versions. No point in me scanning them all if you already have some of them.

My scanner is now back in operation thanks to Mick and Lexmark helpdesk.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:48 AM

Richie here's Lazarus from EFSSA. Note that Sharp doesn't include this in the Ballad section but in the Songs. He does however, in his notes, refer to Child 56:

Texts with tunes:- Davis's Traditional Ballads of Virginia, pp175 and 566. Compare Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads, No.56. Journal of the Folk Song Society, ii. 125; viii. 19

This is from my hard copy, but you can find EFSSA at archive.org too: EFSSA - 1917 edition

Let me know if you want the tune posted too.


Mick




Lazarus

There was a man in ancient times,
The Scriptures doth inform us,
Whose pomp and grandeur and whose crimes
Was great and very num'rous.
This rich man fared sumptuously each day
And was dressed in purple fine linen
He eat and drink, but scorned to pray,
And spent his day in sinning.

This poor man lay at the rich man's gate,
To help himself unable,
And there he lay to humbly wait
For the crumbs from his rich table.
But not one crumb would this happy cure (epicure)
Ever aye protend to send him.
The dogs took pity and licked his sores,
More ready to befriend him.

This poor man died at the rich man's gate,
Where angel bands attended;
Straightway to Abraham's bosom flown,
Where all his sorrows ended.
This rich man died and was buried too,
But O, his dreadful station;
With Abraham and Lazarus both in view
He landed in damnation.

He cried: O father Abraham,
Send Lazarus with cold water,
For I'm tormented in these flames
With these tormenting tortures.
Says Abraham: Son, remember well,
You once did God inherit,
But now at last your doom's in hell
Because you would not cherish.
Go where you cannot now enjoy,
Which augments your damnation;
Besides there is a gulf between
Prevents communication.

Source: Sharp English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, sung by Mr & Mrs Gabriel Coates at Flag Pond, Tenn., Sept. 1, 1916


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:51 AM

Richie, sorry,
I've seen the end of the other thread now. The thing about the texts in Flanders 'Ancient Ballads' is they are not all collected by her. Some are culled from other sources such as Barry.

I think the sensible thing to do is to send you a list + sources for you to check first. Scanning 60 pages will take an age.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:57 AM

Here's the 2nd version from EFSSA, which is only fragmentary. Note that this was collected in 1918 and is not in the edition of EFSSA at archive.org that I linked above. This is from my 1966 hard copy reprint of the 1932 edition.


I should also point out that the word protend in the previous version is as written.

Mick




Lazarus

There was a man in ancient times,
Our Saviour doth inform us,
Whose pomp and grandeur and whose crimes
Was very great and num'rous.
.... <tune only>
In purple and fine linen
He ate and drank but scorned to pray,
And spent his time in sinning.


Source: Sharp English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, sung by Mrs Laura Beckett at St.Peter's School, Callaway, Va., Aug. 16, 1918


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:31 AM

Flanders 'Ancient Ballads traditionally Sung in New England' Vol II,
Young Beichan, Child 53, p9>.

A. Edward O Young & Daughters, of Bellows Falls, Coll Flanders, 1938
B. Ellen Doten, Vermont, from Mr Tabor's Old Song Book.
C. Arthur Walker, Littleton, Maine, Coll. Olney, 1942
D. Alonzo, Lewis, York, Me, Olney, 1947.
E. Belle Richards, Colebrook, NH, Olney, 1947
F. Asa Davis, Milton, Vt., Flanders, 1939
G. J. E. Shepard, Baltimore, Vt., Flanders, 1933
H. Josiah Saml. kennison, Townshend, Vt., Geo Brown, 1930
I. Barbara Pierce, N. Shrewsbury, Vt., Flanders, 1953
J. W. B. Morton, Groton, Vt., flanders, 1937
K. Mrs. W. L. Bryant, Springfield, Vt., Flanders, 1930s
L. Lena Rich, Belvidere, Vt., Olney, 1954
M. Orlon Merrill, Charlestown, NH, Flanders, 1931
N. Ella Doten scrapbook, N. Calais, Vt., Olney, 1941
O. Mrs. Grant coville, Pittsburg, NH, Olney, 1941
P. Gramma Grandey, Bennington, Vt., Olney, 1945
Q. Emma Burke, Providence, RI, Olney, 1945
R. Mrs Herbert Bailey, Putney, Vt., Flanders, 1931
S. Mrs Theodore Sprague, Readsboro, Vt., Brown, 1930
T. Lena Bourne Fish, East Jaffrey, NH, Olney, 1940 (Got this one?)
U. Mrs Michael Mulcahy, Rutland, Vt., Flanders, 1955
V. Anna Fiske Hough, brandon, Vt., Olney, 1940/42
W. Fred Ballard, Jamaica, Vt., Brown, 1930
X. George Farnham, Wardsboro, Vt., Brown, 1930.

While I'm on there's just 1 version of 54 from Vermont and just a fragment of 56 in Flanders.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:37 AM

Richie,
I'll just remind you once more that there are lots of resources on the Indiana Ballad List who I'm sure would be able to offer you help from your own side of the pond, not that 2 old Yorkshiremen mind helping out. It almost seems like a very small thankyou to what was done at Harvard all those years ago.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM

What is Kirkland? I haven't got Gainer. It's one of those I keep meaning to add.

Can you PM me with your email address and I'll start scanning stuff from Flanders?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:52 AM

54
A quick look at my indexes tells me there are American versions in Niles!!, Davies, E&C Moore, Morris, Creighton (TSNS), Pound, Bulletin of the North East II, and Brown (NCF2) and probably other general collections like Lomax and Leach.

56
Niles!!, Davies and little else.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:50 PM

Thanks guys,

I'd like to dedicated this thread to Malcolm Douglas. And thanks guys for your help and advice. Steve, I'll pm you with my email.

Here are some missing Dives and Lazarus:

The Kirkland is: J. Jarnigan, Tennessee in the Southern Folklore Quarterly (1938) pp.66-68 Collected Kirkland, Edwin Capers & Mary Neal   

Two others:

Bud Bush, Folk Songs of Central West Virginia 1 pp.41-44   

Mrs. Neely Robbins WPA Collection, Univ. of Virginia, Charlotteville, No.295   


Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 02:36 PM

I don't know if you've already got them, but vols 1-7 of Brown are available at archive.org. The versions of Dives and Lazarus Steve referred to in vol 2 are here: NCF2 - Dives and Lazarus.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 08:50 PM

TY Mick,

I have put the entire Brown collection on my web-site. (I'm not finished proofing - haha) Here's part of Lazarus 1.

'The Rich Man and Lazarus.' Reported by L G. Greer of Boone, Watauga county; not dated, but about 1915- 16.

I There was a man in ancient times,
The scripture doth inform us,
Whose pomp and grandeur and whose crimes
Were great and very numerous.
This rich man fared sumptuously each day
And was dressed in purple fme linen;
He ate and drank, hut scorned to pray,
And spent his day in singing.

In the original document it has singing (see last word in first verse) crossed out then "sinning" handwritten above it. So it should be:

And spent his day in sinning

Greer was well documented and he and his wife recorded teh first version of Earl Brand in NYC 1929.

My hope is to show that this and the nearly identical version from Sharp that you posted were sung and probably printed at least as as shape-note hymns broadsides. Jackson, I believe points this out but I don't have his book.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 08:55 PM

It should be I.G. Greer of course.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 08:27 AM

Hi,

There's a great article on the Coates family by Mike Yates:
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/coates.htm

It quotes the Lazarus text. Because "happy cure (epicure)" appears in both the Coates and Greer text's it seems likely that Greer was aware of the Coates text (published in 1917) and later added this to his manuscript.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 11:25 PM

Hi,

I've put the few US version I have on here: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-56-dives-and-lazarus.aspx

Here's my list:

The Rich Man and Lazarus- I. G. Greer (NC) c. 1915 Brown
The Rich Man and Lazarus- Miller (NC) 1915 Brown
Lazarus- Coates (TN) 1916 Sharp
Lazarus and Dives- Pritt (Va.) 1924 Davis
Dives and Lazarus- Higgins (KY) 1934 Niles
Dives and Laz'us- (African-American) Lomax; 1934
Lazarus- Aunt Molly Jackson (KY) 1939 Recording

Missing Flanders and some of the version preiously mentioned,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 03:45 PM

Richie,
be quicker to drop me an email at gardhams?hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:33 AM

Hi,

I'm working on Child 68 Young Hunting- US versions. I need lyrics for Jean Ritchie's version- here's the first verse:

Folk songs of the southern Appalachians as sung by Jean Ritchie

Light down, light down, lovin' Henry she cried
And stay all night with me;
The golden cords all around my bed
Shall be supplied to thee.

I also need the lyrics to Jess Young's Tennesse Band (Lovin' Henry, recorded in 1929).

Were the Barry lyrics from 1929 teh source of "The False Lady" text is here at Mudcat?

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 09:02 AM

Richie,
I've been right through the book and can't find any song that starts with this, and in my indexes the Jean Richie book hasn't got an entry for Young Hunting. I'll keep looking.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 09:17 AM

Version G in Sharp's EFSSA1 starts 'Light you down, light you down, love Henry.'

It's not in her book Singing Family in the Cumberlands or on 'The Child Ballads in America Album Vol 2. I haven't got Vol 1.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 11:26 AM

Should be under the title Loving Henry in Ritchie: Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians (2nd edn., 1997) pp.89-90.

The recording was also on the CD that Heritage Muse released with their edition of Child.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 11:31 AM

Ritchie - have you seen the 8 versions of Loving Henry recordings at LOC - Loving Henry?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 11:32 AM

Richie - Apologies for name misspelling; too much looking for Jean...!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 01:01 PM

Hi,

There is some missing information about the source of "The False Lady" text since I do not have Barry's book, British ballads from Maine (Phillips Barry, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Mary Winslow Smyth - 1929). It was reprinted in 1937 with a piano score by Hilton Rufty and I assume recorded in 1954 by Andrew Rowan Summers under the more proper title, The Faulse Ladye. The 1937 Hilton Rufty text uses the "faulse ladye" and lists the source as New Brunswick, Canada.

Unfortunately none of the 8 versions of Loving Henry recordings at LOC are accessible online- it's good to know that they are there--TY

Here's what I have so far- still haven't put all the Sharp versions:

Lord Barnet and Fair Eleonder- (VA) 1917 Davis A
Sir Henry & Lady Margaret- Witt (VA) 1919 Davis B
Proud Lady Margaret- (VA) 1917 Davis C
Lord Henry- (VA) 1922 Davis E
Young Hunting- Walton (VA) 1919 Davis F
Young Hunting- Gentry (NC) 1916 Sharp A
Young Hunting- Landers (NC) 1916 Sharp C
Young Hunting- Keeton (VA) 1916 Sharp D
Young Hunting- Chandler (NC) 1916 Sharp B
Young Hunting- Southerland (NC) 1914 Sharp E
Young Hunting- Hall (Georgia) 1914 Sharp F
Lowe Bonnie- Jimmie Tarlton (SC) 1930 Recording
Young Hunting- Gallagher (NS) 1937 Creighton
Scotland Man- Landers (NC) 1960s Recording
Loving Henry- Workman (KY-WV) 1978 Recording
Young Henerly- Hammons (WV) 1970 Recording
Lord Henry & Lady Margaret- Whittaker (Mo.) 1928
Young Hunting- Lunsford (Appalachians) 1929
Loving Henery- Johnson (VA) pre1936 Scarborough A
Come In, Loving Henery- Keene (Va) pre1936 Scarborough B
Lord Henry- Hill (WV) 1916 Cox A
Love Henry- McKinney (WV) 1919 Cox B
Lord Banyan- Dusenbury (Mo.) 1876 Randolph B
Little Scotchee- Pierce (SC) 1928 Smith
Henry Lee- "Dick" Justice (WV) 1929 Recording
Loving Heneary- Tucker (Georgia) 1931 Mellinger Henry
Lord Bonnie- York (NC) 1939 Brown Collection
Oh Henery- Trivette (NC) 1939 Brown Collection
My Love Heneree- Proffitt (NC) c. 1920 Warner 1959
Loving Henry- Bowerman; pre1936 Scarborough C
Lovin' Henry- Lamb and Rowe (KY) 1949 Roberts
Lady Margot & Love Henry- Johnson (VA) 1933 Niles
The False Lady- Barry (New Brunswick) 1929

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:50 PM

Only got the 1965 edition of Ritchie. Will have a look tomorrow to see if I can add to your list.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: GUEST,julia L
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 11:20 PM

Hello from Maine
I'm working on a catalogue of all Child Ballads from Maine. Will be happy to share when I get it organized.
BTW British Ballads from Maine Volume 2 by Fanny Hardy Eckstorm is due to be published by the Maine Folklife Center this month (April) Fred and I helped edit the music. The missing manuscript was found recently by Pauleena MacDougall, director of the MFC while researching for a biography on Fanny.

stay tuned
Julia Lane


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:47 AM

Richie
Belden p35 has Bresnehen, 1916, Linn County. 13 stanzas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:50 AM

Lowe Bonnie. Sing Out reprints spells his name Tarleton.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:55 AM

McNeil, Southern Folk Ballads Vol II p76 from Linda Beth Waldron, White Springs, Florida, 1986. 7v +tune


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 11:14 AM

Have you got all the Davis versions mentioned in all 3 volumes?
8 in FS of Va.
6 in Trad Ball of Va
6 in More Trad Ball of Va.

I realise that some of these are duplicated but I could check for you if necessary.

E & C O Moore, Ball &FS of the Southwest p47 'Love Henry' John Younger, Tulsa, 11v+tune + 2 other fragmentary versions one with tune.

Texas Folk Songs, Wm A Owens p16 has Bernice Kitchens,Blossom, Texas, 1938, 7v + tune.

A C Morris FS of Florida p263 has Mrs G A Griffin, Newberry. 5v + Tune.

Creighton and Senior, Trad Songs from NS p36 has the Mrs Edward Gallagher version which you appear to have, but this is nfollowe by another version with 16v from Jack Anderson, of Roman Valley.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 11:25 AM

You ought to have the version which includes bits of other ballads 'The Lord of Scotland, by George Edwards, 18v + tune in FS of the Catskills.Cazden et al.

Flanders Ancient Ballads Vol 2 has only a single tune from Mrs Rosanna J parker, Newbury, Vt.

A ramble through the Roud Index would probably turn up more.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 09:07 AM

Hi,

Thaks fro all the suggestions.

I added these:

Lord of Scotland- Edwards (NY) c.1940s Cazden
Love Henry- Carter (KY) 1917 Sharp G
Young Hunting- Dunagan (KY) 1917 Sharp H
Young Hunting- Deeton (NC) 1918 Sharp N
Loving Henry- O'Bryant (Kansas) 1958 Max Hunter
Lord Land- Borusky (Wisconsin) 1938 JOAFL
Lou Bonnie- Gilbert (Ark.) 1971 Max Hunter
Loving Henry- Majors (Kansas) 1950s? Max Hunter
Henry Lee- Krussel (Mo.) 1975 Max Hunter
Loving Henry- Pettit (KY) pre1907 Kittredge
Loving Henry- Whitt (KY) pre1916 Kittredge
Young Henry- Bresnehen (Mo.) c.1875 Kittredge
Love Henry- Wadsworth (Indiana) pre1916 Kittredge

The texts and music are here: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-68-young-hunting.aspx

Some of the texts I haven't finished- need to scan.

Here are some other missing texts, Campbell's may have been reprinted by Sharp in 1917:

A similar text ("Love Henry") was printed in Delaney's "Scotch Song Book No. I," p. 6 (New York, William W. Delaney).' Variants of this version are reported by Mrs. Olive Dame Campbell, "The Survey" (New York, Jan. 2, 1915).

TY all,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Richie
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 03:22 PM

I've started the monster No. 73 Lord Thomas/Brown Girl. I assume, from briefly looking at it, that Child gives 4 US and Canadian versions- is that correct?

Any earlier US versions? I've found two.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 04:08 PM

I'm suspicious about "tracing songs back through the family" unless there's a contemporaneous record.

Only academic types pay much attention to just which forebear sang a song. If it's claimed to go back beyond grandma (assuming today's singer really learned it from her), and there's no documentary evidence (and there almost never is), it's pretty untrustworthy.

It's just too easy for people to assume that songs, stories, sayings, and so on are much older than they are.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 05:35 PM

I fully agree with you, Jonathan. Bell Robertson made such claims to Greig when some of her ballads obviously derived from print.

I can only find one in Child, on p509 of Vol 3, 18sts from a Virginian nurse-maid.

Again this should have existed in America from the 17th century since it has been in popular print since then and from the 18thc in many published collections.

The 31 versions in Sharp's FSSA and the 12 versions in Flanders should keep you busy.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 06:28 PM

Riche - I make it 5 US+Canadian from Child (if you count those collected in the US, despite being learned elsewhere):

Notes to 73A give 4 in appendix:

f . From Miss Clara Mackay, Woodstock, New Brunswick, 1881, derived from her great grandmother. The title is ' Lord Thomas.'

g. Recited to me by Ellen Healy, 1881, learned hy her of a young girl living near Killarney, Ireland, about 1867.


h An Irish version, recited by Ellen Daily Taunton, Massachusetts.

i. Communicated by Mr W. W. Newell, as recited by an Irish maid-servant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Additions and Corrections Vol3
Still another,from the singing of a Virginian nurse-maid (helped out by her mother), was communicated by Mr W. H. Babcock to the Folk-Lore Journal, VII, 33, 1889, and may be repeated here, both because it is American and also because of its amusing perversions.



As Steve says you'll be busy: the Roud Index returns 542 entries for Roud#:4, Place:USA!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 03:00 PM

Just tried 6 times to post. Oh dear!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 04:19 PM

"Only academic types pay much attention to just which forebear sang a song."
Sorry to interrupt here - but that is not necessarily the case - I wonder if there is any documented evidence to back up this statement?
I hate repeating this as often as I do, but one of the greatest voids in our understanding of the song traditions is the fact that, with a tiny number of exceptions we have no idea of what our traditional singers knew or thought about their songs simply because hardly anybody bothered to ask them, assuming that all they had to offer was the songs.
Phillips Barry summed up perfectly the contemptuous attitude to the knowledge carried by our tradititionl singers when he wrote:
"Memory, not invention is the function of the folk".
The question of print and oral/aural learning is a complex one.
Because singers were able to read didn't necessarily mean that they learned songs from print - some of them certainly didn't, with the possible exception of adding verses to what they already had - reading was quite often regarded as "only for the schoolroom".
In Ireland, one of the greatest sources for ballads over the last half century or so has been from the Travellers who, while they sold the ballad sheets, never learned any of their songs from print. They didn't read themselves and their mainly pariah status meant they had virtually no access to the printed word whatsoever - end result - The Maid and the Palmer, Lamkin, Young Hunting, Lord Randall, Devil and the Farmer's Wife, Lord Thomas and The Brown Girl, Famous Flower of Serving Men, Fair Margeret and Sweet William (Ch 253)...... and a whole host of others. In many cases, particularly the first and the last on this list, Traveller versions are the only Irish versions of many of these. 30/40 years ago, before the idea of reading was even broached with the Travelling community, you couldn't throw a stone without hitting a Traveller singer who sang The Outlandish Knight or Captain Wedderburn's Courtship.
Please do not jump to any conclusions about literacy without examining all the evidence and don't adapt shaky or non-existant evidence to fit conceptions that may have no basis in fact.
Travellers we met and interviewed made it quite clear that their grasp of literacy was virtually non-existant. One in particular summed up their relationship with reading by describing how he and his mother went to local printers to get their ballads printed by having to recite the words (mainly remembered from the family repertoire) over the counter to the printer. He told us that the oldest song in his repertoire was The Blind Beggar (of Bethnal Green) - he was almost certainly right.
As far as settled singers were concerned, Norfolk singer Walter Pardon filled tapes with information of who sang what in his family - certainly back as far as great grandparents.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 09:31 AM

"If it's claimed to go back beyond grandma (assuming today's singer really learned it from her)..." [my italics]

So are we to presume that singers' own testimony about where they learned their songs is now to be regarded, by default, with suspicion? Obviously we know a lot more now about the role of print in propagating these songs, but just about every singer who was ever asked the question has stated that they learned the bulk of their songs from family members. Why would they choose to fib, or be somehow mistaken, about having learned a song from grandma? There's a big danger in ignoring such direct evidence as we have, just because it might be inconvenient for prevailing orthodoxy.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 10:45 AM

Jim, Brian, I didn't expect my dashed-off remarks to be scrutinized so closely.

> Only academic types pay much attention to just which forebear sang a song.

What I mean to say is that we see that scholars (especially since Child) want to trace songs or song-versions historically and accurately and as far back as possible. We do not know what proportion of "source singers" share this impractical, inessential, and even pedantic concern. What most appear to be interested in is the song and its associations.

And even those who are historically-minded may not *know* just how long a song (and in what version) has been in their family. If they believe a song to be old, it is easy to assert (not deceptively but innocently) that it's been in the family for a hundred or two hundred years. That's not lying, it's taking something for granted.

> If it's claimed to go back beyond grandma (assuming today's singer really learned it from her), and there's no documentary evidence (and there almost never is), it's pretty untrustworthy.

By "assuming" and "really," I simply meant "when this is really known to be the case." A singer's testimony that grandma sang the song to him directly is ordinarily to be accepted.

I don't suspect that singers are liars, but one can learn a song from mom and easily assume that she learned it from grandma when actually she didn't.

> with a tiny number of exceptions we have no idea of what our traditional singers knew or thought about their songs simply because hardly anybody bothered to ask them.

True.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 02:25 PM

Forgive me for obsessive scrutiny, Lighter, but's it's an interesting point of discussion.

"We do not know what proportion of "source singers" share this impractical, inessential, and even pedantic concern. What most appear to be interested in is the song and its associations...
And even those who are historically-minded may not *know* just how long a song (and in what version) has been in their family. If they believe a song to be old, it is easy to assert (not deceptively but innocently) that it's been in the family for a hundred or two hundred years."


My guess (given that many singers were not asked for their opinions) would be that the family associations were possibily as important as the content of the songs. The Coppers are an obvious - if arguably exceptional - example, but here is Carrie Grover, writing of her Nova Scotia family's singing tradition:

"My songs come from many sources. About 1811 my great-grandfather, William Hutchinson, was given a grant of land by the government on which he was required to build a public house half way between the towns of Windsor and Chester in Nova Scotia. Here my grandmother spent her childhood and girlhood and learned many songs from hearing them sung. She could even sing a bit in Indian and dance to her singing. Her mother, who came from England as a child, I believe, died when grandmother was twelve years old. Grandmother learned several old songs from her...

Of my father's side of the family I know very little beyond the fact that his grandfather, John Davis, came from Glenmorganshire [sic], Wales, and his mother from England. My great-grandfather Davis brought twenty-three of the Robin Hood ballads from Wales, three of which my grandmother remembered and taught to father."


Ms Grover's claim of songs having been sung by four generations of her family is not based on vague notion, but on specific information from her two grandmothers. Singers with sufficient historical interest to have written accounts conveying this degree of detail are unusual, but it's not unreasonable to suggest that songs were often passed on down the generations along with similar background information. I wonder how many of us can remember rhymes or sayings imparted to us by a parent, accompanied by: "My grandmother used to say / sing that"?

Returning, slightly obliquely, to the subject under discussion, Maggie Hammons was dismissive of collectors' insistence that her ballads like 'Young Hunting' and 'Hind Horn' originated in Britain, preferring to stress the family tradition behind her repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 02:48 PM

> with a tiny number of exceptions we have no idea of what our traditional singers knew or thought about their songs simply because hardly anybody bothered to ask them.

Okay generally true, but I'm going to question 'tiny' and 'bothered'.
Quite a few collectors, starting with what is generally considered the first revival, did go to some lengths to talk to particular singers about their sources. Those who didn't were too busy recording the songs, unfunded in most cases, and boy aren't we glad they did this. I'm sure had the collectors had the time they would have loved to have done this, so I think 'bothered' is the wrong word here.

Then there's the issue of the verity of the singers' statements about their sources, and here I would say it would be prudent to take each case separately and look at the possibilities and probabilities. As a collector I know how much the singers want to please and how defective memories can be. As I said earlier the overwhelming evidence is that the majority of singers learnt these songs in their youth and were being recorded in their final few years. Singers with only a few songs would easily recall where they got them but I would be more doubtful of those singers with large repertoires who had learnt them from several sources, print included, but maybe that's just me!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 03:30 PM

> My guess (given that many singers were not asked for their opinions) would be that the family associations were possibly as important as the content of the songs.

Possibly, of course. But to which singers?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 05:08 PM

"the overwhelming evidence...."
What "overwhelming evidence" and wheer is it to be found Steve?
Our experience has been, particularly with the large repertoire singers, that singers learned songs out of interest and never stopped learning them, even when they had no audiences
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 06:48 AM

"did go to some lengths to talk to particular singers about their sources"
My point was Steve:
"one of the greatest voids in our understanding of the song traditions is the fact that, with a tiny number of exceptions we have no idea of what our traditional singers knew or thought about their songs simply because hardly anybody bothered to ask them, assuming that all they had to offer was the songs."
Sources was usually one of the standard questions - "where did you get that?" It bothered me more than a little, as it obviously did Brian, that even this basic piece of information should be treated with suspicion - "unless there's a contemporaneous record."
Not trying to over-stress this Lighter; I take your point about your remarks being "dashed off", but it does help to highlight the practice of treating the singers as sources of songs only, and disregarding anything else they might have to say.
For me, rather than tilting at unmoveble (or unprovable) windmills of "original versions", one of the greatest contributions to the significance and function of our traditional songs would be to gather together every statement that has been made by a traditional singer on how they feel and what they know of their songs - then we might have a basis of an understanding for our traditional songs "with nowt taken out" as the man in the bread advert said.
For those interested in the possible origins of our ballads, I would heartily recommend David C Fowler's 'The Literary History of the Popular Ballad", an extremely readable work, painstakingly researched, by a writer who is, refreshingly, not afraid to admit that he doesn't know, when he doesn't.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 09:58 AM

"the overwhelming evidence is that the majority of singers learnt these songs in their youth and were being recorded in their final few years. Singers with only a few songs would easily recall where they got them but I would be more doubtful of those singers with large repertoires who had learnt them from several sources, print included..."

Steve, I respect your experience as a collector, but I still don't buy the idea that those singers were forgetful old dodderers who had only a vague notion of where they got their songs. Childhood memories are very persistent in elderly people, even those suffering from dementia. Cyril Poacher, for one, was quite definite about precisely which songs he'd learned from his grandfather. I take the point that information regarding the generation above the grandparents' is likely to be second-hand and possibly less reliable, but in general the singers themselves are the best and often the only witnesses we have. Some - like the Mr. Hill of Tetford, Lincs., that Fred Hamer recorded - provided accounts of buying, and learning from, broadsides. But most of the singers' biographies that I've read stress the importance of family first, and peers or workmates second, as sources for repertoire. I think those accounts need to be taken seriously.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 01:19 PM

Brian, Jim,
I'm not suggesting they were suffering from dementia. All I'm saying is that in the majority of cases there was a significant gap between them learning the songs and them being recorded by collectors. I'm well aware of the power of childhood memories in older people being stronger than short-term memory, but those memories are often clouded by wishful thinking and they can be easily confused.

Jim, with all due respect, your own experiences seem to have been mainly among peop[le who were still actively involved with singing the songs to an audience. Unfortunately for the rest of us and for the majority of those collectors over the previous 3 centuries they were being taken down from the aged who had ceased to have an audience for some time.

However, I am interested in the book you suggest and will try to check it out. Thanks.

Having said it once I will repeat it. All of the collectors I'm sure would have dearly loved to have sat down with every singer and written dowen their life story. If they had have done this we'd have about a hundredth of the volume of songs we now have access to!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 01:42 PM

Jim, Brian, Jonathan,

I'm aware that once again we are hijacking someone else's thread!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 02:20 PM

Yes, indeed - we should call a truce now.

I can't let 'Young Hunting' pass by without mentioning that Frank Proffitt's 'Song of a Lost Hunter' (which he'd heard as a boy and was having difficulty remembering) is as neat an example of an individual re-composing a ballad as I can think of.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 02:46 PM

Agreed about hi-jack - but just to make things clear about the singers we recorded; in 1973 the Travellers had a living tradition which died a sudden death (18 months) with the advent of portable televisions.
The Clare singers had lost their audiences decades before and, apart from Tom Lenihan (70+ when we met him), sang a tiny handfull of his songs very occasionally at local functions; it turned out he had around 200 songs in all. The rest were singing for the first time in many, any years, some were not recognised as singers within their communities.
Apart from one song, Walter Pardon had never sung in public, but had nurtured and gradually re-built has family's repertoire, which is the one he sang when he was 'discovered' by the revival.
Across the board singing activity, all-in-all.   
Jim Carroll


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