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The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington

Mr Happy 23 Jun 12 - 09:57 AM
Manitas_at_home 23 Jun 12 - 10:18 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Jun 12 - 12:15 PM
Desert Dancer 23 Jun 12 - 01:23 PM
sapper82 24 Jun 12 - 04:35 AM
Ged Fox 24 Jun 12 - 06:30 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Jun 12 - 08:33 PM
Mr Happy 25 Jun 12 - 03:48 AM
IanC 25 Jun 12 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,Billcc 14 May 14 - 04:46 PM
Steve Gardham 15 May 14 - 07:54 AM
MGM·Lion 15 May 14 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,guest Betsy 15 May 14 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Mrr at work 15 May 14 - 07:41 PM
GUEST 16 May 14 - 06:29 PM
Keith A of Hertford 17 May 14 - 01:34 AM
GUEST 17 May 14 - 04:45 PM
Don Firth 17 May 14 - 05:17 PM
GUEST 18 May 14 - 11:34 AM
Snuffy 20 May 14 - 09:21 AM
Steve Gardham 20 May 14 - 09:48 AM
MGM·Lion 20 May 14 - 10:52 AM
Richard Mellish 20 May 14 - 11:07 AM
Keith A of Hertford 20 May 14 - 12:03 PM
MGM·Lion 20 May 14 - 12:33 PM
Manitas_at_home 20 May 14 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 20 May 14 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Anne Neilson 20 May 14 - 03:41 PM
Richard Mellish 21 May 14 - 04:51 AM
GUEST 21 May 14 - 07:36 AM
MGM·Lion 21 May 14 - 08:10 AM
GUEST 21 May 14 - 06:39 PM
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Subject: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 09:57 AM

In this song, the lovers are parted for 7 long years by a certain distance.

He's in 'far London', she's in Islington.

How difficult was it in those days to travel from the city to Islington?



@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5785


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 10:18 AM

Streetmap reveals two Islingtons and three places with Islington in the name. One Islington is near Telford and the other just north of the City of London. I suspect the song won't be referring to the one just outside the City.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BAILIFF'S DAUGHTER OF ISLINGTON
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 12:15 PM

Apparently, there has never been a thread about this particular song, although there have been threads about other songs that mention Islington:

Lyr Req: Lass of Islington
Lyr Add: Fair Maid of Islington
Chord Req: fair maid of islington

From the Bodleian collection, Douce Ballads 2(229a). I have modernized the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.


True Love Requited.
Or, The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington.


The young man's friends the maid did scorn,
'Cause she was poor and left forlorn.
They sent the esquire to London fair,
To be an apprentice seven year,

And when he out of's time was come,
He met his love a-going home,
And then to end all farther strife,
He took the maid to be his wife.

To a North Country tune: or, I Have a Good Old Woman at Home.

1. There was a youth, and a well-beloved youth,
And he was a 'squire's son.
He loved the bailiff's daughter dear
That lived in Islington.

2. She was coy and she would not believe
That he did love her so.
No, nor at any time she would
Any countenance to him show.

3. But when his friends did understand
His fond and foolish mind,
They sent him up to fair London
An apprentice for to bind.

4. And when he had been seven long years
And his love he had not seen,
"Many a tear have I shed for her sake
When she little thought of me."

5. All the maids if Islington
Went forth to sport and play,
All but the bailiff's daughter dear;
She secretly stole away.

6. She put off her gown of grey
And put on her puggish attire.
She's up to fair London gone
Her true love to require.

7. As she went along the road,
The weather being hot and dry,
There was she aware of her true love
At length came riding by.

8. She stepped to him as red as any rose
And took him by the bridle ring.
"I pray you, kind sir: give me one penny
To ease my weary limb."

9. "I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me
Where that thou wast born?"
"At Islington, kind sir," said she,
"Where I have had many a scorn."

10. "I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me
Whether thou dost know
The bailiff's daughter of Islington?"
"She's dead, sir, long ago."

11. "Then will I sell my goodly steed,
My saddle, and my bow.
I will into some far country
Where no man doth me know."

12. "Oh, stay, oh, stay, thou goodly youth.
She's alive; she is not dead.
Here she standeth by thy side
And is ready to be thy bride."

13. "Oh, farewell, grief, and welcome, joy,
Ten thousand times and more,
For now I have seen my own true love
That I thought I should have seen no more."

Printed for J. Walter at the Golden Ball in Pye Corner.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 01:23 PM

Hey, turnabout is fair play! For once it's the girl who's testing the guy! How have I missed this one for so long?

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: sapper82
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 04:35 AM

Is anyone else old enough to remember learning an abridged version of this on the BBC's Singing Together??


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Ged Fox
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 06:30 PM

"How difficult was it in those days to travel from the city to Islington?"

Not difficult for one free to do so.

However in "those days" an apprentice would live in with his master's household and his liberty would be almost entirely dependant on the whim of his master. It would be not at all odd for the apprentice's days to be regulated through all the hours when the city gates might be open, and for the apprentice not to be allowed out at night.
The squire's daughter might not have much freedom of movement either, especially before she had come of age.
There is no need to assume that the Islington in question was any other than the hamlet just outside the city walls, and it adds some poignancy to the song that the couple were separated only by a couple of miles as effectively as if they were on different continents.

Of course, it is only a song.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 08:33 PM

From Roy Palmer's Book of British Ballads [1980]: "Judging from the frequency of reprints, the ballad was immensely popular in the latter part of the 17th century. It has continued to be held in affection ever since, though one doubts the informant who told Child in the 1880s that it 'may be heard any day at a country cricket-match'. It has been confidently asserted that the Islington in question is the village in Norfolk, rather than the one formerly near London and now part of it." (p. 190)


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Mr Happy
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 03:48 AM

Susanne (skw),

Thanks for info.

The reason I asked is that a friend has been singing the song recently & raised the question,so as an answer, Norfolk sounds far more feasible

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islington,_Norfolk


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: IanC
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 04:58 AM

The village is now called Tilney cum Islington ... quite common in East Anglia for small villages close together to join up like that.

:-)


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST,Billcc
Date: 14 May 14 - 04:46 PM


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 May 14 - 07:54 AM

Confidently asserted!!!! Where?

I prefer Ged's explanation. I doubt if some tiny village in Norfolk would get a mention in a London broadside of the 17thc.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 May 14 - 11:12 AM

Indeed. But whether rendered as "far London" or "fair London", it is just a bit of phatic poeticising. Islington is a borough pretty well adjacent to the City at its southern extremity. From Angel Station walk straight due south down Goswell Road and Aldersgate Street and you'll come to St Paul's in, maybe, ¾-mile. Still, as pointed out above, couples can be parted socially by more than mere distance.

And as to that "confidently asserted"; as Steve points out, Roy carefully avoided saying by whom!

~M~


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST,guest Betsy
Date: 15 May 14 - 07:07 PM

I'm quite sure that Clive Woolf sang a beautiful version of this song......


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST,Mrr at work
Date: 15 May 14 - 07:41 PM

I have a slightly different version, by Cynthia Gooding on Faithful Lovers and Other Phenomena:

There was a youth, and a well-beloved youth,
And he was a squire's son.
He loved the bailiff's daughter dear
That lived in Islington.

Ah, but she was coy and would not believe
That he did love her so.
No, nor at any time would she
Any countenance to him show.

And when his friends did understand
His fond and foolish mind,
They sent him up to fair London
An apprentice for to bind.

And when he had been seven long years
Never his love did he see,
"Many a tear have I shed for her sake
When she little thought of me."

Then all the maids of Islington
Went forth to sport and play,
All but the bailiff's daughter dear;
She secretly stole away.

She putted off her gown of green
And put on ragged attire.
And to fair london she would go
Her true love to inquire.

And as she went along, along the high road,
The weather being hot and dry,
She sat herself down upon a green bank
When her true love came riding by.

She started up with a color so red
Catching hold of his bridle rein
"One penny, one penny", kind sir, she said
"Would ease me of much pain."

"Before I give you one penny, sweetheart
Pray tell me, where were you born?"
"At Islington, kind sir," she said
"Where I have had many a scorn."

"O prithee, sweetheart, then tell to me
Pray tell me whether you know
The bailiff's daughter of Islington?"
"She is dead, sir, long ago."

"If she be dead, then take my horse
My saddle, and bridle also
And I will into some far land
Where no man shall me know."

"Oh, stay, oh, stay, thou goodly youth.
She standeth by thy side
She is here alive, she is not dead
And ready to be thy bride."

"Then farewell, grief, and welcome, joy,
Ten thousand times therefore
At last I have found my own true love
Whom I thought I'd see no more.
At last I have found my own true love
Whom I thought I'd see no more."


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST
Date: 16 May 14 - 06:29 PM

What you've missed is that an apprentice's indenture invariably included clauses explicitly banning drinking, gambling and screwing around. If he'd taken up with his lass, he'd have been out on his ear, with no profession or any hope of one, and probably owing a considerable sum for his keep.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 May 14 - 01:34 AM

Remember the apprentice in Pirates of Penzance.
His love had to wait until he was indentured on his 21st birthday, which would be at 84 years old because he was a leap year baby.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 14 - 04:45 PM

True, but he was supposed to be apprenticed as a pilot, which means he couldn't have started his training before 1903, another 23 years on.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 May 14 - 05:17 PM

Er--wouldn't that have been piloting the ship rather that flying offspring of the Wright brothers' contraption?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 14 - 11:34 AM

Ain't never seen no ship in Islington.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 May 14 - 09:21 AM

Must have been a narrow boat then.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 May 14 - 09:48 AM

This is getting rather silly.....so I'm adding to it!
Pilots are navigators. Navigators built the canals. Doesn't the Grand Union pass through Islington? Nowhere near Penzance, but PoP was probably written not far from Islington.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 May 14 - 10:52 AM

To be precise, the pilot was the harbour professional official whose speciality would be to guide a ship from harbour to open sea, up to which point, as he would be conversant with the harbour's depths and shallows &c, he would be regarded as in command. Once clear, he would be "dropped", ie would descend the ladder into a boat which would row him back, and the captain would take over command from then on. Hence the famous Punch cartoon: "Dropping the Pilot is a political cartoon by Sir John Tenniel, first published in the British magazine Punch on 29 March 1890.[1] It depicts Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, as a maritime pilot, stepping off a ship (perhaps a reference to Plato's ship of state),[1] watched by a young Wilhelm II, German Emperor. Bismarck had just resigned as Chancellor at Wilhelm's demand, as their political views were too different for Wilhelm." Wikipedia -- see this entry for repro of the cartoon.

~M~


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 20 May 14 - 11:07 AM

Wot's all this BS about pilots (maritime or aeronautical)?

The well-beloved youth was apprenticed to some trade, but does any version say which trade?


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 20 May 14 - 12:03 PM

No, and also not for the seven year bound Lincolnshire Poacher.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 May 14 - 12:33 PM

There is, in fact, something odd in an "esquire", ie a member of the gentry, a landowner, apprenticing his son to trade at all. He would, in fact, have been one who employed the sort of tradesman to whose trade young men of the artisan class would be apprenticed. The point we must surely extrapolate is that the esquire did this to punish his son for having 'let the side down' by falling in love with a girl who was only the daughter of a bailiff, ie a senior servant, a sort of estate manager, that a "'squire" would have hired as an employee. This is surely a peculiarly class-conscious ballad, is it not?

~M~


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 20 May 14 - 01:29 PM

The Grand Union doesn't pass through Islington but the Regent's Canal, which links to it, does.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 14 - 01:44 PM

Ah, so the poor lass never had a Union. Reminds me of the old simile between the names of Insurance Companies and congress: Commercial Union, Legal and General, you name it...


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson
Date: 20 May 14 - 03:41 PM

Not helpful in any way, but I well remember how much I disliked this song in primary school in Scotland in the 50s!

Normally I have a good memory for a story, but I recognise none of this beyond the first verse, which suggests that my aversion to the 'twiddly' tune (my description of it at the time) blanked out everything else about it. I think it might have come from a series of books called 'Folk, National and Art Songs of the British Isles': these contained songs such as 'David of the White Rock' and 'Men of Harlech' from Wales; 'Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms' from Ireland; 'Barbara Allan' from England (which similarly annoyed my 10 year-old self) etc.

(And I very much regret to say that I can't remember what Scots songs were in the selection!)

But, like 'Barbara Allan', this song of the bailiff's daughter seemed just too sapsy/sentimental for a 10 year-old who couldn't appreciate the romantic nuances or lover's testing.


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 21 May 14 - 04:51 AM

Last week GUEST,guest Betsy said
"I'm quite sure that Clive Woolf sang a beautiful version of this song...... "

When I posted on this thread yesterday I forgot to mention that I had spoken to Clive and that he denies having ever sung this one. His opinion of it seems similar to Anne's when she was ten.

Any idea, Betsy, who else it might have been?


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 14 - 07:36 AM

Can't you just see it, though? In the UK bailiffs are what the US calls repo-men, so Dad's a crew-cut overweight ex-wrestler, herself not much different (or someone else would have been on the scene seven years on), boyfriend a gawky twerp, neither of them able to send the other a message during seven years. Never was the Balls Pond Road so aptly named!


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 May 14 - 08:10 AM

Don't think it means that sort of bailiff -- ie a distrainer of goods for unpaid debts [called in Shakespeare a "bum-bailey"]; but rather the sort of land agent to a landowner, who had day-to-day care of the running of the estate. The word 'bailiff' can mean both these; but as the song's setting is country, and the hero's father a squire, I have always taken the heroine's father to have been the land-agent sort of bailiff; respectable enough, but of the senior-servant level of society, and so beneath the notional notice of the son of a squire, or landowner, who would have employed a bailiff to look after his concerns.

~M~


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Subject: RE: The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 14 - 06:39 PM

She's not alone in that in London, though. The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (the original, not the Krays boozer) had a not dissimilar daughter. On the other hand, Harry Clifton inverted the genre in Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green, and was echoed in Cushie Butterfield, a lass clearly built along the same lines as my earlier suggestion.


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