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Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3

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Richie 21 Jun 12 - 09:33 PM
Richie 21 Jun 12 - 10:37 PM
GUEST 21 Jun 12 - 11:42 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jun 12 - 03:04 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jun 12 - 03:07 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Jun 12 - 03:56 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jun 12 - 06:08 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Jun 12 - 07:36 PM
Richie 22 Jun 12 - 11:32 PM
Richie 23 Jun 12 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Jun 12 - 08:30 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Jun 12 - 05:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jun 12 - 01:30 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Jun 12 - 01:36 PM
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Richie 24 Jun 12 - 08:19 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jun 12 - 05:59 PM
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Richie 27 Jun 12 - 11:13 PM
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Richie 02 Aug 12 - 10:46 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Aug 12 - 12:38 PM
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Richie 03 Aug 12 - 08:16 AM
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Richie 24 Sep 12 - 01:31 PM
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Subject: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 21 Jun 12 - 09:33 PM

Hi,

Since Part two was over 100 posts I'm starting part 3. I'd like to begin Part 3 with Lady Alice. In the US the ballad is known mostly as George Collins- several versions have been posted in the DT by Stewie and others. I'd like to have more US versions- please post!

I'm curious about the English version a 1799 commentary found in The Spirit of the Public Journals. It's rather long but I'll post it in its entirety rather than link it to my web-site. Please look at this and make comments. Is this well-known? Not included in Child? The first published version?
---------

The Spirit of the Public Journals: being an impartial selection of the most exquisite essays and Jeux D'esprits, Principally prose; That appear in Newspapers and other Publications; Volume 1- Second edition, edited by Stephen Jones, Charles Molloy Westmacott- 1799

CRITICISM ON AN ANCIENT BALLAD

SIR,

TO point out to public notice the merits of a Poem, is confessedly the noblest, as well as the most agreeable part of criticism. Dennis may hunt the errors of Cato, while its illustrious author is employed in immortalizing Chevy-Chace, by praises which will probably out-live the subject of them. Antiquity presents us with many commendatory critics, and the writers of Greece and of Rome have almost all found some one to applaud what, if they had written in modern times, would have drawn on them acrimonieus censure. During the present century, however, some of the ancient authors of our own country, who have confined themselves within a sheet of paper, have met with someone to refresh their laurels. Not only Chevy-Chace, but the Children in the Wood, and many otfter popular songs, have been dignified by panegyrics. The Lover's Ballad yet remains unpraised; not because it is undeserving, but because it is obscure.

That this poem is of great antiquity, may be concluded from its language and conduct. The heroine is introduced in a situation in which sew modern fine ladies can be found, that of mending her night-cap. We know, too, that the custom of burying the dead in open coffins, without any covering, in order to prevent the suspicion of violence, has been long discontinued.

Lady Alice was sitting at her bow-window,   
Amending her night-coif;
And there she law the finest corpse   
That ever she saw in her life.
Lady Alice she laid to the four tall bearers,   
"What bear you on your shoulders?"
"It is the body of Giles Collins,
An old true lover of yours."

The great beauty of the second stanza is the circumstance of Giles Collins' love towards Lady Alice being so generally known; and the delicate and ingenious manner in which the tall bearers insinuate the cause of his death to have been his unfortunate passion for that lady. The provincialisms and the rugged metre of this poem can only be excused by the barbarism of that age in which it was probably written.

"Set him down, set him down," Lady Alice she said;
"Set him down on the grass so trim;
For before the clock it doth strike twelve,
My body shall lie by him."
Lady Alice she then put on her night-coif,   
Which fitted her wond 'roufly well;
She cut her throat with a sharp pen-knise,
As the four tall bearers can tell.

If Cæsar has been deservedly praised by his biographers, for the solicitude which he discovered to die with decorum, let the same praise be extended to Lady Alice, whose night-coif was as material to the propriety of her apoearance, as the robe of the Roman Emperor. The moral of these verses, it may be said, is not agreeable to modern times; and suicide should not be encouraged by example, even in fiction. We may here appeal to Virgil, who makes Dido act in the fame way, although he considered self-murder to be criminal, as appears from the sixth book of the Æneid.

Proxima deinde tenint majii loca quisibi letum
---------pepercre manu, lucimque perori
Projecere mamas------------

and the rest of the passage.

It may be observed, too, that Dido and Lady Alice, and I believe all our great heroines, declare their intentions first, to shew how innocent they are of the knowledge of any guilt in them; and, sensible pf the propriety of their conduct, choose to have witnesses of their contempt of death.

Lady Alice was buried in the east church-yard,
Giles Collins was buried in the south;
And there came a lilly out of Giles Collins's nose,
Which reach'd Lady Alice's mouth.

The learned reader will immediately perceive that this thought is strictly classical. It is perhaps borrowed from Persius; who, in describing the advantages which a deceased poet derives from applauie bestowed upon his works, exclaims,

Nunc non i tnanibus illti
Nunc non i lumulo fortunataque fa-villa,
Nascentur violie

It is indeed astonishing how favourable to vegetation the corpses of a pair of lovers generally prove. It is long since I looked into Ovid; but I remember there are few, either male or female, who die for love, who do not add something useful or agreeable to the kitchen to the flower garden.

The limited space which the more important articles of your paper will suffer me to occupy, is much toy small to admit an examination of the particular excellence of each line. Of the whole, considered in the Aristotelian sense, as composed of beginning, middle, and end, the utmost praise that can be uttered is, that it is interesting. His acuteness, to speak in the diction of a brother critic, is more to be commended than his feelings, who can read with a malignant sneer, what was written under the influence of strong passions; nor was he, perhaps, so reasonable as he might have imagined himielf to be, who-first attempted to subject to the laws of poetry, those passions of which it is unhappily often a characteristic to defy the laws of morality.

[St. James's Chron.] Momus Criticorum.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 21 Jun 12 - 10:37 PM

I'm posting the version collected by my grandfather in 1933 from dulcimer maker Nathan Hicks, father in-law of Frank Proffitt. The Hicks family were prominent tradition bearers in the that region. My grandfather helped Frank Warner buy a dulcimer from Hicks.

To listen to my recording of Hicks' version on which I played his dulcimer:http://bluegrassmessengers.com/george-colon--nathan-hicks-nc-1933.aspx

I only have one recording of Nathan Hicks- he's playing George Colon- I'll have to find it and post later.

George Colon- Nathan Hicks (Sugar Grove, Beech Mountain NC) July 31, 1933. Collected by Maurice Matteson


George Colon rode home one cold winter night,
George Colon rode home so fine,
George Colon rode home one cold winter night,
George Colon took sick and died.

He left poor Omy in yonder room,
A sewing her silks so fine,
But when she heard that George was dead,
She laid her silks aside.

Unscrew the coffin, take of the lid,
Lay back the linen so fine,
And let me kiss his cold clay lips,
For I'm sure he'll never kiss mine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 12 - 11:42 PM

Hi,

I assume this is the first known US version from c. 1816- which is Child A c.:

Lady Alice- Uneda (PA) c. 1816 Child A c. from Notes and Queries, 1856.

1    Lady Alice was sitting in her bower window,
A-mending her midnight coif,
And there she saw the finest corpse
That she ever saw in her life.
   "Fal-de-ral"

2    'What bear ye, what bear ye, ye six men tall,
Upon your shoulders strong?'
'We bear the corpse of Sir Giles Collins,
An old and true lover of yours.'
"Fal-de-ral"

3    Lady Alice was buried all in the east,
Giles Collins all in the west,
A lily grew out of Giles Collins's grave,
And touched Lady Alice's breast.
"Fal-de-ral"

To view the original document look on my site here:http://bluegrassmessengers.com/lady-alice--uneda-pa-c1816-child-a-c.aspx

I pose the question who is Uneda from Philadelphia and where did he learn this version in 1816?

Anyone hazard a guess?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 03:04 PM

Richie,
I've never seen this article before. I can't quite decide whether it's genuine or a piss-take. The version he is using is so obviously a burelesque.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 03:07 PM

I should add, thanks for starting a fresh thread. Perhaps this should become a Mudcat policy, or at least a suggestion.

'Uneda'. Many contributors to 19thc journals on both sides of the pond used classical pseudonyms, much like the Mudcat handles we sometimes use.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 03:56 PM

Richie


According to this Poe Society of Baltimore article, Uneda was called William Duane Jr., Born: February 7, 1808 - Died: November 4, 1882. There's a little information about him on that page.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 06:08 PM

Nice one, Mick!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 07:36 PM

Thanks Steve. Did you read the letters on the Poe site? It looks like he was pestering Poe for the return of a missing book and the second letter suggests Poe was not happy at being pestered.

The entry cited there from Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States is online: William Duane Jr, right hand page, top of 2nd column.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 11:32 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the info on Uneda.

Here's the 1799 version without the commentary:

LADY ALICE

Lady Alice was sitting at her bow-window,   
Amending her night-coif;
And there she law the finest corpse   
That ever she saw in her life.

Lady Alice she laid to the four tall bearers,   
"What bear you on your shoulders?"
"It is the body of Giles Collins,
An old true lover of yours."

"Set him down, set him down," Lady Alice she said;
"Set him down on the grass so trim;
For before the clock it doth strike twelve,
My body shall lie by him."

Lady Alice she then put on her night-coif,   
Which fitted her wond 'roufly well;
She cut her throat with a sharp pen-knise,
As the four tall bearers can tell.

Lady Alice was buried in the east church-yard,
Giles Collins was buried in the south;
And there came a lilly out of Giles Collins's nose,
Which reach'd Lady Alice's mouth.

Except for the "lilly out of Giles Collins's nose" is seems like a fairly straight forward version. I assume this would be the earliest published version. Predating Child's and even Uneda's which he heard in Philadephia when he was 8 years old in 1816. It seems likely that he learned this from his father who grew up in Ireland.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 08:11 AM

It seems odd that Child did not include Halliwell's version from 1843, which is one of the variants found in the US:

GILES COLLINS- From The Nursery Rhymes of England: Obtained Principally from Oral Tradition- James Orchard Halliwell 1843


CXXV.

Giles Collins he said to his old mother,   
Mother, come bind up my head;
And send to the parson of our parish,   
For to-morrow I shall be dead, dead,   
For to-morrow I shall be dead.

His mother she made him some water-gruel,
And stirred it round with a spoon;
Giles Collins he ate up his water-gruel,
And died before 'twas noon, [noon,]
And died before 'twas noon.

Lady Anna was sitting at her window,
Mending her night-robe and coif;
She saw the very prettiest corpse,
She'd seen in all her life, life,   
She'd seen in all her life.

What bear ye there, ye six strong men,
Upon your shoulders so high?
We bear the body of Giles Collins,
Who for love of you did die, die,   
Who for love of you did die.

Set him down! set him down! Lady Anna, she cry'd,
On the grass that grows so green;
To-morrow before the clock strikes ten,
My body shall lie by his'n, his'n,   
My body shall lie by his'n.

Lady Anna was buried in the East   
Giles Collins was buried in the west;
There grew a lily from Giles Collins,
That touch'd Lady Anna's breast, breast,   
That touch'd Lady Anna's breast.

There blew a cold north-easterly wind,   
And cut this lily in twain;
Which never there was seen before,   
And it never will again, again,   
And it never will again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 08:30 AM

For some reason out of the dim past I have the feeling that the very first appearance of this ballad - in Shenstone's Miscellany in the 18th C. - looked very much like a "piss-take" as the Brits quaintly call it.

Am I imagining this?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 05:56 PM

The whole thing, i.e., all versions of GC remind me of the burlesque versions of Lord Lovell what with the repeats, and I can't help thinking that although it may be a piss-take of some earlier lost ballad, it is indeed an early example of burlesque. But heigh-ho, that's just my opinion!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:30 PM

The ballad "Lady Alice" seems widespread in the SE U. S.,reported from Virginia, Florida and Arkansas where it appears as "George Collins" in versions collected from Virginia and North Carolina (in Emrich, American Folk Poetry).
Versions appear as "George Collins" in Bronson, The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads, from Virginia, Hampshire, England (Guyer and Gardinern JFSS, III, No. 13 (1909); one of these has 10 verses and is called a "pivotal" text by Bronson because it suggests the supernatural), and in Randolph, from Arkansas.
"Young Collins Green" from Newfoundland is a derivative text with a scent of "Barbara Allen."

Burlesque or "piss-take" the song's origin may have been, but it was treated seriously by most(?) singers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:36 PM

Absolutely, Q. I never suggested or thought otherwise. Several burlesques of serious ballads have reverted back to being a serious song in oral tradition, Lord Lovell, Billy Taylor, etc. Also I wasn't suggesting the songs' origins were in burlesque. This meaning of 'burlesque' implies a serious song as the origin, just as you can't write a parody without having something to parody in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 02:11 PM

Not bearing on the origin, but a different version ("supernatural")that should be in Mudcat.

Lyr. Add: George Collins
Hampshire, England; in Bronson.

1
George Collins walked out one May morning,
When may was all in bloom,
'Twas then he beheld a fair, pretty maid,
She was washing her marble stone.
2
She whooped, she holloed, she highered her voice
And she held up her lily-white hand.
"Come hither to me, George Collins," said she,
"For thy life shall not last you long."
3
George Collins rode home to his father's own gate,
And loudly he did ring.
"Come rise, my dear father, and let me in,
Come rise, my dear mother, and make my bed.
4
-------------
------------
All for to trouble my dear sister
For a napkin to bind round my head.
5
For, if I chance to die this night,
As I suppose I shall,
Bury me under that marble stone,
That's against fair Helen's hall."
6
Fair Helen doth sit in her room so fine,
Working her silken skein;
Then she saw the finest corpse a-coming,
As ever the sun shined on.
7
She said unto her Irish maid:
"Whose corpse is this so fine?"
"This is George Collins' corpse a-coming,
That once was a true lover of thine."
8
"You go upstairs and fetch me the sheet
That's wove with a silver twine
And hang that over George Collins' head,
Tomorrow it shall hang over mine."
9
This news was carried to fair London town, And wrote all on fair London gate;
Six pretty maids died all of one night,
And all for George Collins' sake.

Guyer and Gardiner, JFSS, III, No. 13, pp. 299; New Forest, Hampshire, 1906.

A 10-verse version, same source. After verse 2, Phillip Gaylor (the source singer), sang:

He put his foot to the broad water side,
And over the lea sprang he,
He embraced her around her middle so small,
And kissed her red, rosy cheeks.

After verse seven of the above:

"Come put him down, my six pretty lads,
And open his coffin so fine;
That I might kiss his lily-white lips,
For ten thousand times he has kissed mine."

George Collins (Lady Alice), Child No. 85; pp. 229-231; Bertrand H. Bronson, The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads.

There also is a version "George," a hobo dying in an empty box-car (not seen yet).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 02:23 PM

Stewie posted "The Dying Hobo" (George) in thread 18313.

Penguin: George Collins

Steve, you are correct; please forgive my sloppy language plus my interpretation of "piss-take."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 05:54 PM

No problem.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 08:19 PM

Hi,

The Dying Hobo version was recorded in 1926 by Kelly Harrell for Victor then three years later a cover version (?) was recorded by Dick Justice titled "One Cold December Day." I have the recording and the text on my site: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/one-cold-december-day--justice-wv-1929-rec.aspx

Curiosly this same version was collected twice by Roberts and once by Davis, I would assume disseminated from the recordings.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 09:50 PM

Hi,

I just started working on George Collins a few days ago.

The article, music and text from Q (thanks Q) is found here on my site: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/george-collins--gardiner-collection-england-1909.aspx

Addtionally these important articles on George Collins are on my site:

George Collins- Barbara M. Cra'ster 1910
The "Johnny Collins" Version of Lady Alice- Bayard
The "Clerk Colvill" Mermaid- Harbison Parker 1947
Brown Collection- Lady Alice

The Brown collection is one of the extensive US collections along with Davis' 1929 TRadtional Ballads of Virgina.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 07:50 AM

David Atkinson wrote a very scholarly article on GC & Lady Alice. I'll check it out and ask him if you can quote from it if you like.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 01:08 PM

Found the article, but it's in a published book which is still in print, so you probably can't use all of it. It's pp193-204 of The Flowering Thorn ed. Tom McKean 2003. The article's titled 'George Collins' in Hampshire.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 05:59 PM

Also see "George Collins" in "Five Songs from Hampshire and One from Sussex," Bob Copper and Michael Bell, Jour. of the English Song and Dance Society, vol. 9, no. 2, 1961, pp. 72-80.
jstor.org shows the first page of the article, which includes a musical score for the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 08:00 AM

The English versions collected in Hampshire in 1906 are directly related to the Johnny Collins versions found in the US (See Bayard's The "Johnny Collins" Version of Lady Alice article) in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The US titles are also "John Collins" or "Young Collins." These are not to be confused with a different unrelated English song titled, "Young Collins."

This text was missing from the JFSS article:

GEORGE COLLINS- George Blake 1906

George Collins walked out one May morning,
When may was all in bloom,
There he espied a fair pretty maid
A - washing her marble stone.

[She whooped, she holloaed, she highered her voice,
And held up her lily-white hand,
"Come hither to me, George Collins," said she,
"For thy life shall not last you long."

George Collins rode home to his father's own gate
And loudly did he ring.
Come rise, my dear father and let me in,
. . . .
Come rise, my dear mother, and make my bed,
All to trouble my dear sister,
For a napkin to bind round my head.

For if I should chance to die this night,
As I suppose I shall,
Bury me under the marble stone,
That's against fair Eleanor's hall."

Fair Eleanor doth sit in her room so fine,
Working the siken skein,
When she saw the fairest corpse a-coming
As ever the sun shone on.

She said unto her Irish maid,
Whose corpse is this so fine?"
"This is George Collins' corpse a-coming,
That once was a rue lover of thine."

"You put him down, my pretty fair maids,
And open his coffin so fine;
That I might kiss his lily-white cheek,
For ten thousand times he have kissed mine."

You go upstairs and fetch me the sheet,
That's wove with a silver twine.
And hang that over George Collin's head,
For tomorrow it will hang over mine.

This news was carried to fair London town
And wrote all on fair London's gate,
Six pretty maidens died all of that night,
And all for George Collins' sake.]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 01:28 PM

A "Young Collins" from West Virginia:

Lyr. Add: Young Collins
1
Young Collins out from his fields one day,
the trees and the flowers were in bloom.
'Twas there he spied young Ellen, dear, dear,
a washing a marble white tomb.
2
He clasped her around her slender waist,
he kissed both her cheek and her chin
Till the stars from heaven came tumbling down
to the spot where young Collins lay.
3
She screamed, she cried she changed he mind
She waved her lily white hand.
"Come here, come here, young Collins, my dear,
your life is near at hand."
4
He ran, he ran to his own father's house
till he came to his father's door
Saying, "Father, dear Father, pray let me in,
I pray let me in once more."
5
"If I should die this very night
Which I feel in my mind I will,
Go bury me under the marble white tomb
at the foot of dear Ellen's green hill."
6
As Ellen was sitting in her own cottage door
All dressed up in silk so fine,
It was there she saw a casket coming
as far as her eyes could shine.
7
"Whose casket, whose casket, I see,
who lies in that casket so fine?"
"'Tis young Johnny Collins, a clay cold corpse
who lies in that casket so fine."
8
She ordered the casket to be opened forthwith
and she gazed on his cold clay form
And took the last kiss from his clay cold lips
as oft they had kissed hers before.
9
She ordered the shroud to be brought right there
and trimmed it with lace so fine-
"For today they weep o'er Collin's grave-
tomorrow they'll weep over mine."

Coll. from singing of Hazel Karickhoff, 1940, Upshur County.

With musical score, p. 21, Marie Boette, editor, Singa Hipsy Doodle and other Folk Songs of West Virginia, McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 11:13 PM

Moving on to US & Canada Versions of 87. Prince Robert.

There appears to be one version although it's legitimacy is questionable. "Harry Saunders" in the DT is from the singing of a Mrs. Nan Wilson of Nicholas County, West Virginia as it appears in Patrick Gainer's Folk Songs from the West Virginia Hills (Seneca Books, 1975).

In 1924 the exact same text was "collected" by one of Gainer's friends, Carey Woofter and shortly thereafter published by Combs. the first and same "Harry Saunders" text was attributed to F. C. Gainer; Tanner, Gilmer County, West Virginia. F.C. Gainer was doubtless Francis C. Gainer, the grandfather of Patrick Gainer. Yet in 1975 Patrick no longer attributes the song to his grandfather.

According to Wilgus, "Harry Saunders" was contributed by F. C. Gainer; Tanner, Gilmer county, West Virginia. Wilgus adds probably contributed by Carey Woofter in 1924.

The only reported US traditonal text of a child ballad is a remarkable find. I'm not sure what to make of this.

Comments?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 05:58 PM

Richie,
You can probably guess my response.

Child wasn't very impressed with the whole ballad, and Bronson had little to add, so we're probably left with an 18th century broadside origin for the 4 versions in Child. If it wasn't for the few versions provided by Motherwell one would suspect that WS had been upto his usual tricks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 08:54 AM

Hi,

Does anyone have the US text of Child 90, "Jellon Grame"? It was printed in Davis, More Folk-Songs of Virginia. It was recorded by Paul Clayton in his "Bloody Ballads" LP.

If anyone can email me (Richematt@aol.com) the mp3 I can transcribe.

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 02:43 PM

Again you're on dodgy ground accepting any of the obscure Smith family material without at least a rider. I can email you the text in More Traditional Ballads of Va. I've got the usual 3 Davis books but not this one. In fact I didn't know it existed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 12:35 AM

Recent TV feature done on me: http://www.wdrb.com/story/19030449/guitarist-blends-paint-music-to-preserve-old-songs

I've struggled up to Child 100, will need more help in future. TY from your many contributions, esp Mick, Brian and Steve.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 10:46 AM

Hi,

Working on Child No. 112 Baffled Knight. I have no US versions in my collection. Anyone have lyrics? I think there's a version in 1. Flanders; 2. Barry; or 3. Green Mountain Songster

I've added Katie Morey as 112 Appendix. Does anyoen have info on the broadside "Katy Mory" circa 1830 and where I could get a copy or the lyrics?

Are there any English versiosn of Katie Morey?

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 12:38 PM

Richie - the Roud index has 34 entries for Katie Morey (#674) and all appear to be from the USA.

Roud lists 6 entries for The Baffled Knight (#11) with Place Collected as USA (this may not get all of them - there are, IIRC, 157 entries in total and they may not all have the place collected). The 6 are:

Bulletin of the Folksong Society of the Northeast 12 (1937) p.12, collected Barry, 1936, Cambridge, MA

Coffin, Brit. Trad. Ballad in N. America (1977 edn.) pp.99-100, 246-247         - references/discussion only

Wilgus: Kentucky Folklore Record 3:3 (1957) pp.91-92, 108, collected Brown, 1949, McCracken County, KY

Moore, Ballads & Folk Songs of the Southwest pp.84-86, collected E & C Moore, nd, Stilwell, OK

Flanders, Ancient Ballads Traditionally Sung in New England 3 pp.89-99 (version a), ex Green Mountain Songster (1823)

Eddy, Ballads & Songs from Ohio pp.64-65, collected Eddy, nd, Perrysville, OH


(If you're interested there's a used copy of the Moore's book for ca $9 + $3 pp on amazon at the moment)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 03:56 PM

Without searching too closely my indexes can add Canadian versions

Traditional Songs of Nova Scotia p63
Peacock Vol 1 p272

I have copies of most of the above if you let me know which ones you don't have access to. As they are only single versions I can easily scan and send. I think the only one I don't seem to have is Wilgus.

112 is a strange one. Child et al seem to have grouped together a whole family of related ballads under the one number. The 17th century ballad spawned a whole series of rewrites on broadsides and many of these affected oral tradition to various extents.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 08:16 AM

Hi,

Thanks Mick and Steve.

I'd like the text from The Green Mountain Songster and Barry's version. Eddy's version in Ballads & Songs from Ohio is a version of Katie Morey (Shrewd Maiden).

I have one US version with no source published in 1968 titled the Morning dew. It begins:

There was a farmer's son,
Who led a humble life
One day in May he strolled away,
To find himself a wife.

Singing blow away the morning dew,
The grey morning dew.

Anyone know the source of this?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:52 PM

Barry Bulletin 12, p12
Sung by Mr Edward Cassity, of cambridge, Mass, age 82, formerly boatswain of the barque Coriolanus, rec 1936.

Do you need the tune?

Text of 1stv under dots is
As I stept out one morning
It was in the month of May,
I saw a pretty country girl,
And her clothing was so gay.
Sing blow ye winds of the morning,
Blow ye winds I ho.
Clear away the morning dew
And blow ye wild winds blow.

Printed text
1
As I walked out one morning
Within the month of May;
I saw a pretty country lass,
And her clothing was so gay.
Singing, Blow ye winds of the morning,
Blow ye winds I O,
Clear away the morning dew,
And blow ye wild winds blow.

2
Said I, 'My pretty fair maid,
Where are you going this way?'
She looked me in the face and smiled,
And swiftly sped away.

3
I quickly followed after her
And caught her by the hand;
Says I, 'My pretty fair maid,
Now let us understand'.

In the notes Barry asserts the text and tune are close to the version in Whall, which would tie in with Cassity's sea-going life.

The Green Mountain Songster version is repeated in Flanders Vol III p90. 9double stanzas, no chorus. Largely follows Child D and probably close to one of the many British broadside versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 03:06 PM

Re your unknown US version, it appears on this web page Blow Away The Morning Dew... but without attribution. There is an email address on this page Contact, so it may be worth asking if he knows the source.

All the versions in the Roud index that start There was a farmer's son seem to have been collected by Sharp, but the one version I have from him is followed by Keep sheep..., so that's probably no help.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:14 PM

The song you're after is an obvious rewrite with a totally different twist which has presumably been rewritten deliberately in this way for some reason. All of the earlier versions including continental ones are based around the maiden's trickery which is the main motif. It is based on Child D as is the Pills version on the same page. Whilst this song has been rewritten many times all versions retain the main motif, the whole point of the song. I'd guess this is a relatively modern rewrite.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 07:32 AM

TY

After looking at the music, the US version posted by me above is clearly a rewrite of Sharp's version collected in Sommerset and has the same melody. It was probably changed by someone to avoid copyright issues.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 09:53 PM

Hi,

I'm up 167. Sir Andrew Barton. In your opinion which versions should be included here and which under 250. Henry Martin?

Are there any US versions of 167. Sir Andrew Barton? Or are they all versions of 167. Sir Andrew Barton?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 11:25 AM

Hi,

Does anyone have Flanders US version of Northumberland Betrayed By Douglas? Is it from George Edwards?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 02:53 PM

Richie,
Yes it's George's single stanza.

I'm not sure I fully follow your request for info on Henry Martin, but off the top of my head I think all of the oral versions of this are versions of HM. Curiously though some of the names in American versions seem to be closer to Andrew Barton. First names are easily interchangeable in ballads and Martin isn't a million miles from Barton in phoetic terms, but it's worth looking into. FWIW I can't remember seeing any 18thc versions intermediate between the 2 ballads. I have copies of the 17thc ballad and the 19thc much shortened one but nothing in between.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 01:31 PM

Thanks Steve,

I'm on Black Jack Davy (Gypsy Laddie)

Need info on Ray Rhodes- where is he from etc. Black Jack Davy was sung (in 1958?) by the 7-year-old Ray Rhodes. It can be found on Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording, which won the 2006 Grammy for Best Historical Album.

Need info on Alemda Riddle's version? Where did she learn it?

Need info on Woody Guthrie's version recorded circa 1944. I know he learned some of it from his mother- where is the rest from? I assume he adapted it- source?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 08:51 PM

Hi,

I've posted some info on Guthrie's version on my site:

http://bluegrassmessengers.com/gypsy-davy--guthrie-ok-c1920s-rec-1944-45.aspx

Here an excerpt from: Woody Guthrie and His Folk Tradition
by Richard A. Reuss
The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 83, No. 329 (Jul. - Sep., 1970), pp. 273-303

Prior to 1939, and in some cases a fterwards, his utilization of themes, imagery, style, tunes, and form was so completely within the musical heritage from which he came that it is hard to tell where tradition ends and Woody Guthrie begins. A classic example is Guthrie's "reworking" of "The Gypsy Davy," which Alan Lomax and others long have held to be a unique recreation on the part of the Oklahoma balladeer. In his notes to Woody's recording for the Library of Congress, [63] released commercially in 1942, Lomax observed that Guthrie was responsiblef or interpolating a single stanza into the ballad, which had the effect of lifting the entire song out of what was essentially an English setting and placing it instead in the Southwest.

The verse in question depicts a campfire scene with the gypsy playing the guitar and serenading his lady with what presumably is a cowboy song:

Well, he had not rode till the midnight moon
Till he saw the campfire gleamin',
And he heard the gypsy's big guitar,
And the voice of the lady singin'
The song of the Gypsy Dave.

Lomax notes that Woody edited the song to reflect his "Oklahoma upbringing," the "milk white steed" becoming the buckskin horse, and so on. Guthrie himself is not so specific, but he also hints at having made major changes in the lyrics in his "Old Book" manuscript collection of songs. "This song changed when it come west. Because one nite in a saloon a feller said he'd give me four bits to sing it for him and I just remembered the first v erse- and so I needed the money for a flop and a slop- so here's what come out of it."

But the assumption that the western innovations of "The Gypsy Davy" were exclusively Woody's cannot go unchallenged. In "ClaytonB oone,"a I961 variant recorded by cowboy-artist Harry Jackson, the southwestern trappings are even more elaborate. The ballad is set on the Mexican border, the boss's horse (replacing the lord's steed) is a dun, the saddle is silver, leather chaps are worn, and the gypsy is a sweet-singing mandolin player.

I rode until the midnight sun
Till I seen their campfire burnin',
And I heard the sweetest mandolin
And the voice of young Dave singin'.[64]

Since Jackson learned his version of the song in Wyoming in the late 1930s from a cowboy named Ed Marchbank, and Guthrie elsewhere asserts that he heard a dozen different texts over the years, [65] one is left with the conclusion that the verse and its western ornamentation are in large part traditional rather than a product of Woody's creative imagination.

When composing his own material, Guthrie most often would create new lyrics using the framework of an old song. Generally, this meant simply writing new words to a standard tune, for while Woody reworked melodies freely he seldom wrote music on his own; he borrowed virtually all of his musical repertory from folk and hillbilly sources, notably the recordings of the Carter Family.

Footnotes:
63 Anglo-American Ballads, (AAFS 1-5), n.d. [1942), Side 2A; reissued on LP as AAFS LI.
64 The Cowboy (Folkways FH 5723).
65 Liner notes to Songs by Woody Guthrie (Asch 347).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 09:17 PM

It's probably a coincidence, but the mandolin appears also in Willa Cather's romantic poem "Spanish Johnny" (1912).

http://www.bartleby.com/265/53.html

The Lomaxes included it in "American Ballads and Folksongs" in 1934.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:39 PM

I don't have access to the early US Gypsy Davy broadsides:

1. De Witt's "Forget-Me-Not Songster," p. 223;
2. Hooley's "Opera House Songster," p. 46.

Anyone have texts or link to these editions?

Rcihie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 06:56 AM

Richie

Hooley's Opera House Songster is available at archive.org. Here's a link to the online page view for the song: Gypsy Davy - Sung by Archy Hughes.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 07:04 AM

I can't find the de Witt online, though one verse from the song is quoted:

  "Elopments now are all the go,
  They set the ladies crazy;
  Now then, ladies all, beware,
  And look out for Gypsy Davy,"


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 08:31 AM

Interesting, Mick.

The booklet is copyright 1863.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 09:24 AM

Nice one, Mick.
Are there many of these songsters on the net?
3 or 4 interesting songs in there.
Brian O'Linn, Springfield Mountain, When Johnny etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 09:44 AM

TY Mick,

Hughes was in the New Orleans Opera Troupe (based out of Philadelphia, PA)in August, 1859. Here's the text:

From: Hooley's Opera house Songster: containing a choice selection of sentimental, comic, & Ethiopian songs as sung by D. D. Emmet, G. A. Parkerson, W. S. Budworth, Archy Hughes, G. W. H. Griffin, S. S. Purdy, J. A. Herman, Lew Brimmer, J. T. Boyce and other popular vocalists belonging to the renowned band of Hooley's minstrels. Published 1863 by Dick & Fitzgerald in New York.

LRYIC ADD: GYPSY DAVY
Sung by ARCHY HUGHES. Pub. 1863

THERE was a lord, a high-born lord,
Who courted a high-born lady;
She lived in a palace all so grand,
Till she met with, the Gypsy Davy.

Chorus: Elopements now are all the go,
They set the darkeys crazy;
Take warning all, both great and small,
And beware of the Gypsy Davy !

This lord he was a fine young man,
And he set this lady crazy;
So she packed up her duds, and away she ran
Along with the Gypsy Davy.

Chorus: Elopements now, etc.

Her parients raved, and tore their hair,
When they come for to miss That 'ere baby;
And then to think of that sweet-born baby,
None knew but the Gypsy Davy!

Chorus: Elopements now, etc.

Oh, how could she leave her house and land?
Oh, how could she leave her baby?
Oh, how could she leave her own wedded hand,
To run off with the Gypsy Davy?

Chorus: Elopements now, etc.

Last night she lay in a dear feather bed,
And in her arms her baby;
To-night she'll lay on the cold, cold ground,
In the arms of the Gypsy Davy !

Chorus: Elopements now, etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 09:57 AM

Guest was me. I've reset now.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 10:32 AM

Hi,

After checking, it appears that De Witt's "Forget-Me-Not Songster" (1872) and Wehman's Universal Songster (1884) all have substantially the same version, the title is "Gipsy Davy" in Wehman's.

Essentially it's a version adapted by minstrels for the stage.
-----------
On another related topic:

Does anyone know if Texas Gladden recorded Black Jack Davy?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 10:52 AM

Richie - Texas Gladden - Ballad Legacy, has Gypsy Davy" (sample at that link).


Steve (if I haven't got confused over who asked that) - there are 3 pages of songsters at archive.org: Songsters.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 11:00 AM

btw the quote I gave from the de Witt songster was from this article: She Chucked Up Everything And Just Cleared Off: The Appeal Of The Gypsy Laddie (pdf file).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 04:04 PM

Thanks, Mick.
Well that's me tied up till Christmas then.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 08:43 PM

Nice article Mick,

The De Witt text was published in Ballads and Songs collected by the Missouri Folk-lore Society by Henry Marvin Belden, Missouri Folklore Society - 1973

Elopments now are all the go,
They set the ladies crazy;
Now then, ladies all, beware,
And look out for Gypsy Davy.

I don't have that edition. It appears in a google book search tho.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 10:37 PM

Here's a gr8 version from Alabama: Ra-Ta-Tum-De-Dum. I need help transcribing it. Anyone clear up two missing parts? Link below

http://bluegrassmessengers.com/ra-ta-tum-de-dum-pennington-al-1952-browne.aspx

I put a photo of Archie Hughes (singer of the 1863 version above) on my site:

http://bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-200-the-gypsy-laddie.aspx

If anone has Texas Gladden's lyrics I'd like to add them,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 09:03 AM

Richie

I've had a listen to the Alabama version and here's what I've got. I've put the changes in bold. (I amended a few minor spelling errors too).

There are a few places I'm still not sure of. In particular the word I've given as try in v3. I'm sure it should be some cognate for swear/vow, but I can't get it; it still sounds like try. (A version of the song in Bronson from Utah has a version of this verse with swear in that position: "Come go with me, my pretty fair maid,/Come go with me, my honey,/I swear by the sword that hangs by my side/You never shall want for money.") I also can't quite decide if the We on the last line of the verse shoud be You but I think it sounds marginally more like We; I could be wrong!.

Mick



"Go fetch me out my iron-gray,
The brown ones not so speedy.
I'll ride all night and I'll ride all day,
Till I'll overtake my lady."

CHORUS: Rattle tum te dum dum
Tettle tum te dum dum
Tettle tum te dum
So i-dy.

He rode and rode till he came to the waters deep
It looked so deep and miry.
Till the tears came flowing down his cheeks
And ?saw?(?so?, ?thought?) he lost his lady.
CHORUS

Won't ya turn back my pretty little miss
Now won't ya turn back my honey.
I ?try? by the sword that hangs from my side
We never shall lack for money


I won't turn back my pretty little miss
I won't turn back your honey.
I'd rather take a kiss from gypson's lips,
Than you and all your money.
CHORUS

Pull off, pull of those high-heeled shoes,
That's made with Spanish leather.
Put on, put on those low-heeled shoes,
And we'll take a walk together.

I won't pull off these high-heeled shoes,
That's made with Spanish leather.
I won't put on those low-heeled shoes,
And I won't take a walk together.
CHORUS


Last night you lay on a feather bed
Your husband he lay by you
Tonight you lay on an old straw bed
With the gypson's all around you.

CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 10:46 AM

Hi,

The Roxburghe Ballads (1897): Volume 8 - Page 154 by William Chappell, Ballad Society reports this about Child K a: "and Mrs. Helena Titus Brown, of New York (in 1790)."

Would this be sufficient evidence that the ballad is dated 1790? Why wouldn't child affix that date to K a.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 04:51 PM

Mick,
I've been through the first page, and found a couple of gr8 versions of Paul Jones. Not a lot else of interest yet though. A lot of it is either too recent or religious or political.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 05:03 PM

Richie, Chappell was long dead when volume 8 came out. The series by then had been taken over by Sam Cowell's brother-in-law, J W Ebsworth, who was a bigger sceptic than either myself or Child. I don't know why Child didn't verify the date, but Mary Ellen Brown's book might throw light on it. I can give you the full statement in Rox if you haven't got it. Ebsworth is very scathing of a number of versions, and I do tend to agree with him usually. There was a lot of literary interference in that period.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 08 Oct 12 - 01:02 PM

Hi,

I'm not sure how to proceed with US versions of Child 204 Jamie Douglas. In his narrative to Jamie Douglas, Child gives the text of a an older song, Waly, Waly, Gin Love Be Bony (The Water is Wide) and shows the textual relationship between the two. As an appendix Child gives the text of Arthur's Seat Shall be my Bed, etc., or, Love In Despair.

Roud gives versions of Waly, Waly (The Water Is Wide) mixed with version of Jamie Douglas as does The Child Ballad Collection. The Traditional Ballad Index separates Jamie Douglas" and "Waly, Waly (The Water Is Wide)."

Should Waly, Waly (The Water Is Wide) be part of Jamie Douglas? If so, here are some related US songs:

"Waly Waly" "Wailie, Wailie" 1927 Sandburg
"Cockle Shells," "When Cockleshells Turn Silver Bells"
"I Wish I Was a Child Again" 1918 Sharp
"The Ripest of Apples" (ME) 1900
"The Water is Wide"
"Maggie Goddon"
"Must I Go Bound"
"O Love Is Teasin' " Jean Ritchie (KY) REC
"There is a Tavern in the Town," "Every Night When the Sun Goes In" (NC) 1918
"The Brisk Young Lover" (NC) Gentry
"Love Has Brought Me to Despair"
"My Blue-Eyed Boy" Hewitt (NE) 1905 Pound
"William Hall" English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, No. 171, version D . vol. II, p. 242.

Should they be part of the US versions? Most are melodically related as well.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 09:45 AM

I'm looking at 213. Sir James the Rose.

According to Coffin: "The Child Sir James the Rose ballad is not in America. The American texts are highly sophisticated and based on Sir James the Ross, a song Child, IV, 156 thought to have been composed by Michael Bruce." The US and Canadian versions, some titled Sir James the Rose, will be of the ballad Child titled after Michael Bruce's poem, Sir James the Ross.

The English and Scottish versions suffer from the same errant titles. For example the Glenbuchat version, titled Sir James the Ross, matches Child's in all but two stanzas (the sixteenth and the last), and has more Scots diction than the original broadside.

Roud lumps both ballads. The ballad index separates them.

The question is should Sir James the Ross be listed as an appendix to No. 213, as 213A?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:24 PM

Richie, my advice would be to treat Waly Waly as a separate song from the Child Ballad unless there is some evidence of the plot of JD in there somewhere. If you like I could post the fullest version I have from early print of Waly Waly to use as a template. Another alternative, if you are desperate to include all the Waly Waly versions, is to include them as secondary songs as did the early American collectors who were desperate to include anything vaguely related to a Child ballad. The best way I know of looking at WW in relation to JD is to accept WW as a song within a ballad. Most of the songs you list above are easily seperable from the Waly Waly songs and I have done in-depth studies on most of them. The sharing of tunes has little relevance without other evidence.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:26 PM

'separable' it should be.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:30 PM

213 needs some clarification:

Is Elfrida and Sir James of Perth an older ballad?

Does anyone have Sir James the Rose (Ross) as printed in One Hundred and Fifty Scots Songs, London, 1768?

It was reprinted by Keith in Last Leaves. Was one of the versions Joe Offer provided that version?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:32 PM

There seems to be no evidence to suggest 'Sir James the Rose/Ross is anything but a stall ballad. It was widely printed on garlands etc from the middle of the 18thc and I don't think any of the oral versions predate this. In what way are there 2 separate ballads?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 01:20 PM

Child is quite clear on his opinion on the various pieces related to 213 and the way it has been rewritten. He gives plenty of information on p156 of Vol 4 and I haven't seen any of his assertions refuted anywhere. Don't forget to look at the footnotes.

Pinkerton's assertion on the previous page 'was without question considerably manipulated by the editor. All the important variations are certainly his work' Pinkerton published in 1781/3. Do we know who he was referring to?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 01:55 PM

Here's info on 213 from two sources:

Alexander Keith from Greig's Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads:

LXIV. Sir James the Rose (Child, 213):

   There are two different versions of this ballad extant, one traditional, with its " scene " in Perthshire, the other literary and attributed to Michael Bruce, the Loch-Leven poet (1746-1767). Child deals fully with the former, but in Aberdeenshire and and the North-East the latter has, in great measure, ousted the traditional version, so that it is with the Bruce text we have to deal. All the texts of both versions are clearly derived from stall copies, broadsides, or other prints of the second half of the eighteenth century. The versions collected by Messrs. Greig and Duncan differ from one another very slightly, and show only a few verbal changes of the traditional kind from the known printed texts. Accordingly, we give here (as being more interesting) the earliest text we have seen — one which is never alluded to in the controversy over the authorship of the literary ballad — from One Hundred and Fifty Scots Songs, London, 1768.



Excerpt from The British Traditional Ballad in North America by Tristram Coffin 1950, from the section A Critical Biographical Study of the Traditional Ballads of North America

The Child Sir James the Rose ballad is not in America. The American texts are highly sophisticated and based on Sir James the Ross, a song Child, IV, 156 thought to have been composed by Michael Bruce. Barry, Brit Bids M?, 290 i, citing Alexander Keith (editor) in Greig's Last Leaves of Traditional Bids, points out that both the Ross (not in Child's collection) and Rose (which Child printed) ballads are derived from eighteenth century broadsides and stall copies and that Michael Bruce is mistakenly considered the composer of the former. He also points out on Keith's authority that the Ross version has ousted the Rose in Scotland and that his American copy of Ross is identical with the 1768 and oldest known Scottish (150 Scots Songs, London, 1768) text of the story. His version being that old and well established in oral tradition, Barry therefore rates the Ross texts as a primary, rather than a secondary, form of the story in America. Also see MacKenzie, Bids Sea Sgs N Sc, 48. MacKenzie's A version is particularly sophisticated. The Pound, American Speech, Nebraska version does not differ materially from the northern texts.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:05 PM

Here's another source:

Ten Songs from Scotland and the Scottish Border
by Anne G. Gilchrist
Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Dec., 1936), pp. 53-71

Sir James loves Matilda, whose father bids her wed Sir John the Graham. The lovers meet at their trysting-place, and Sir John's brother, Donald, craftily hides himself in the underwood " to overhear what they would say." Donald attacks Sir James with insulting words and stabs at him with his sword, crying- "This for my brother's slighted love- His wrongs sit on my arm! "
(A curious phrase.) Evading him, Sir James cleaves Donald's head with his sword, and as he tumbles down,

"a lump of breathless clay,"
"So fall my foes," quoth valiant Ross,
And stately strode away.

Then the Graham clan is roused and the ballad ends in a double tragedy. For the whole ballad (twenty-seven double verses) see " Sir James the Rose," Last Leaves of Aberdeen Ballads, lxiv, p. I37.

There are two distinct forms of this ballad. The one selected by Child begins-

O heard ye of Sir James the Rose
The young heir of Buleighan ?
For he has killed a gallant squire
An's friends are out to tak' him.

But Child rejected as too "literary" the one which became most popular in Scotland and most widely sung, which is here represented. It is rather curious that in the forty years since he died so many traditional copies of this rejected version, sung
to their traditional tunes, have been noted. It has been attributed to the Scottish poet, Michael Bruce, amongst whose papers it was found, but it now seems possible that it was merely revised, after the fashion of the time, by him. The earliest printed text known of this supposed " Bruce " copy appeared in One Hundred and Fifty Scots Songs, London, 1768, the year after Bruce's death at the age of twenty-one. This collection contained several ballad texts, and Dr. Keith, who transcribes this copy in his Last Leaves of A berdeenshireB allads, concludes that both the version preferred by Child and the "Bruce" form have been derived from stall copies, broadsides, and other prints of the second half of the eighteenth century. The copy found amongst Bruce's papers was further revised by John Logan, Bruce's untrustworthy friend, who unblushingly claimed the authorship of several poems now almost certainly known to be Bruce's.

The basis of each form of the ballad (of which Child's version is the most savage) is the slaying of Sir Donald Graeme by Sir James the Rose, the betrayal of the fugitive, and the revenge of the Graemes by killing the slayer of their clansman. In Child's text, taken from a stall copy of I780 in the Abbotsford library, Sir James' sweetheart, to whom he has fled for hiding, betrays him to his enemies who are hunting for him, and afterwards, stricken with remorse, disappears for ever from human ken. In the ballad which has ousted this version in Aberdeen and elsewhere, the treachery is transferred from Matilda to her faithless little page, who discloses Sir James's hiding place. After defending himself bravely he is slain, and Matilda draws out the sword still sticking in his side, falls on the point, and dies on his body.

This second version is a long ballad of about fifty verses, found almost complete, and not much corrupted, even after its emigration with Scots folk to Nova Scotia and Maine. See W. Roy Mackenzie's Ballads and Sea-Songs of Nova Scotia, (where
a modal tune is also given for the ballad), and British Ballads from Maine (edited by Barry, Eckstorm, and Smyth).

In Child's text the scene is located in Perthshire, at Bulechan; in Aberdeen copies, on the banks of the Ugie above the Abbey of Deer, where the saugh-tree (willow) where the lovers met used still to be pointed out by the singers of the lovers' fate. The hero is called both James the Rose and James the Ross, and as there were distinct clans of both Rose and Ross in Scotland, the confusion increases, and it seems doubtful whether there is any historical foundation for the story, though it was printed as an
" Ancient Historical Ballad "-the " Bruce" version-in the Weekly Magazine and Edinburgh Amusement, 1770.

It is certain that this version was widely known and sung in Aberdeenshire, and also in New Brunswick. Dr. Keith prints in Last Leaves six tunes and variants, and had obtained seven others-variants of his Tune I. In Johnson's Museum, vol. iii, p. 280, is a variant, set to " Hardycanute," and another tune is in R. A.

Smith's Scotish Minstrel, ii, 30. And none of all these tunes fits Child's version, which, as will be seen, is in a different metre, though Christie has a tune for it in his Traditional Ballad Airs. As for Christie's double tune, printed above, the probability is that it is a combination of two different airs, the first strain being one tune to the ballad and the second, another, according to his habit of " arranging " tunes in eight-line stanza form.-A. G. G.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 05:56 PM

Firstly personally I'm not convinced Keith knew a lot about the history of the ballads. He was heavily influenced by his mentor, William Walker, who at one time supplied Child with material. All of Keith's ballads should be in the Greig Duncan Collection. I have a photocopy of Keith and will have a look when I have time. I know where there is an original copy but it's expensive.

Also Christie should not be relied on for anything. He was a known fabricator, both of tunes and texts.

I have a copy of Smith if that's any use.

Of course the literary versions will be found in oral tradition. Look at Scott's 'Jock of Hazeldean', widely sung, in fact it seems to have replaced the traditional ballad it is based on.

I think what you put on your website should depend on how faithfully you want to follow Child's choices. In my researches 99% of the time he was right even though he had nothing like the resources we now have.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 10:41 PM

Hi Steve,

I'm adding Sir James the Ross as an Appendix to Child's Sir James the Rose. The US versions will be part of 213A.

It seems unlikely that Bruce wrote Sir James the Ross since a nearly identical version appeared in One Hundred and Fifty Scots Songs, London, published in 1768. Michael Bruce's version was not published until after his death in 1770. So I agree with Keith, Barry, and all that Bruce probably got his version from a stall copy.

I think you're right- that Waly, Waly/Water is Wide should also be an appendix since James Douglas is not part of the song, plus the song isn't really a ballad, more a collection of floating verses.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 01:31 PM

Hi,

I'm on 214 braes o Yarrow

In Ballad's Migrant it says:

Mrs. Lily Delorme (now deceased) whom Miss Olney visited at the kind invitation of Mrs. Marjorie Porter of Plattsburg , New York, when Mrs. Delorme was living in Cadyville, New York. She sang eighteen Child ... Brothers" (49), "Unquiet Grave" (78), "Willie, of Winsbury" (100), "Braes of Yarrow" (214), "John of Hazelgreen" (293).

Is there a text of Delormes "Braes of Yarrow"? Anyone have it?

Why does Roud give two numbers, is 5838 the Hamilton version "Busk Ye"?

Anyone have text of Elie Siegmeister's "The Dewy Dens of Yarrow," printed on page 40 of Songs of Early America?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 03:04 PM

There are various literary rewrites of the Yarrow ballads which may account for more than one Roud number.

Richie,
Have you still not got access to Flanders? You really should have access. It would make this project so much easier, not only for the texts but for the notes also. Had you been this side of the pond I'd have lent you my copies. Delormes' version is Vol 3 p257. It has 9 sts. I haven't time to type it out but I can scan it and email it to you if you wish. There is another version of 7 sts from Mrs Belle Richards of Colebrook, NH.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 05:33 PM

Not song info, but there's a picture of Lily Delorme (I presume it's her referred to) at the Flanders' archive at Middlebury: Lily Delorme.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 06:20 PM

Steve, do you mean even the first strains of Christie's tunes are faked?
Bronson included them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 06:47 PM

Jon,
No. It's almost impossible to say what was and what wasn't faked, so they are simply untrustworthy. Christie reproduced quite a bit of Buchan's texts which are very suspect anyway. My own attitude to this is if the editor is a known fabricator I simply don't trust anything they published. In the same way as I wouldn't accept anything in say Sharp's publications. However one can at least in Sharp's case go back to the manuscripts and rely on this. As far as I know, as with Buchan, there are no manuscripts/field notes for Christie.

At the same time, let us remember that interference with folk material was almost the norm at the time. It had to be tidied up for sale to the middle classes and some editors simply had more imagination than others.

As for Bronson, like Child, he wanted to be as inclusive as possible, and wasn't unduly concerned by reputations.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 10:02 PM

Steve please email me Delorme's version at Richiematt@aol.com

Coffin doesn't use Lily Delorme's version in his article which is surprising.

I have Belle Richards.

I know about the Hamilton rewrite circa 1733 "Busk Ye" and I thought that was the reason for Roud giving two entries. What are the other rewrites?

Also what is the difference between 214 and 215 (esp. A B C)? Is it the the name Willie? or the "Willie's fair" verse?

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 25 Oct 12 - 12:21 AM

Are people confused by No. 215? For example the Roud index, Max Hunter and The Child Collection list this under Child 215:

Fair Willie Drowned In Yarrow- As sung by Almeda Riddle, Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 23, 1965; Recorded by Max Hunter

VERSE 1
My Willie's rare and Willie's fair
And Willie's wonderous bonnie
My Willie has promised he'd marry with me
If he ever did marry with any

VERSE 2
O, Sister dear, I've had this dream
And I fear it means sorrow
I dreamed I was pulling heather green
On th bonnie banks of the Yarrow

VERSE 3
Sister dear, I tell your dream
An' it doth mean sorrow
You'll get letter -- rare it is in
Your lovers' drowned in th Yarrow

VERSE 4
She searched for 'im up stream, searched for 'im down
With much distress an' sorrow
And found 'im where willows grew
On th bonnie banks of Yarrow

VERSE 5
Her hair it being three quarters long
The color it was yellow
She tied it around his middle small
An' pulled 'im from th Yarrow

VERSE 6
Last night my bed was made full wide
Tonight I'll make it narrow
No man shall ever sleep by my side
Since Willie's drowned in th yarrow

By 1970 when she recorded the song for John Quincy Wolfe Jr., she had changed the title to "Banks of the Yarrow." Clearly this is version of 214 with the opening "Willie's rare" verse.

Agree?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 25 Oct 12 - 12:42 AM

What are the US versions of Child 215?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Oct 12 - 02:57 PM

Richie,
Flanders' notes hopefully will clarify the situation. These 2 ballads are not ones I've had cause to study. I used to have a book 'Yarrow, Its Poets and Poetry' which contained a whole gathering of literary poems inspired by the Yarrow and the 2 ballads. As I'm not interested in literary ballads I gave it away many years ago.

By sheer coincidence, and I don't get out a lot, someone sang 'The Dowy Dens' at a folk event I was at last Saturday.

This sort of thing is happening far too regularly! Spooky!

I'll get the stuff off to you ASAP. I assume you've already checked the Roud Index.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Richie
Date: 07 Nov 12 - 12:42 AM

Hi,

I'm on US & Canada Versions: 248. The Grey Cock

I'm missing about 4 of the extant US versions; Barry, Creighton, Flanders, and Moore.

Anyone have texts/

R-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 12 - 03:00 PM

I don't have Barry unless it's repeated in another book. I presume by Creighton you mean the 2 versions in Trad S of NS 83, 84. and I have Moore p113 which I'll post in a bit if they're not too long. If they are I'll scan and send. If you want tunes I'll have to scan.

Which book are Flanders version(s) in? I don't think there's anything in ABT.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Nov 12 - 06:49 AM

Scanned and sent.


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