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Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6

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Richie 06 Jun 13 - 10:19 AM
Richie 06 Jun 13 - 11:13 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jun 13 - 11:43 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jun 13 - 11:47 AM
Richie 06 Jun 13 - 12:52 PM
Richie 06 Jun 13 - 01:09 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jun 13 - 01:55 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jun 13 - 02:03 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Jun 13 - 03:23 PM
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Subject: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 10:19 AM

Hi,

Thanks to all of you who have helped with the first five segments of Child Ballads: US Versions.

I started on Child 278 and came upon this info. The earliest British version is "How the Divell was guld by a scould" a broadside dating back to 1630. Where is this? Does anyone have a copy?

What is the "old Scottish form" rewritten by Burns? Is is found in Cromek, Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, p. 83, 1810? Is this Child B?

What is the oldest US version?

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 11:13 AM

Below is the "original" found in Cromek, Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, p. 83, 1810. Apparently it is a rewrite by Alan Cunningham of Burns with verses 6, 7, 12, 14 and 15 entirely by Cunningham (according to James Paterson).

ORIGINAL OF BURNS'S CARLE OF KELLY-BURN BRAES- Alan Cunningham

1. There was an auld man was hauding his plow,   
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
By came the Devil, says, 'How do ye do?'
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

2. It's neither your ox, nor your ass that I crave,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
But your auld scaulding wife, man, and her I maun have,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

3. 'Go take her, go take her,' the auld carle said,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
Ye'll no keep her lang, an' that I'm afraid,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

4. The Devil he mounted her on his back,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
An' awa like a pedlar he trudged wi' his pack,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

5. He carried her on till he came to hell's door,   
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
An' bade her gae in, for a bitch an' a whore,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

6. He placed her on his big arm chair,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
An' thousands o' Devils came roun' her to stare,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

7. But ay as they at the auld carlin played pouk,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
She gied them a bann, an' she lent them a clout,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

8. A reekit wee devil gloured owre the wa',
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
Says, help! master, help! or she'll ruin us a',
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

9. The deil he came up wi' a good brunstane rung,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
An' out at the door the auld carlin he swung,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

10. He hynt up the carlin again on his back,   
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
An' awa fu' blythely he trudged wi' his pack,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

11. He carried her owre an acre or two,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
Till he came to the auld man hauding his plow,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

12. An' ay as the auld carle ranted and sang,   
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
'In troth my auld spunkieye'll no keep her lang;'—
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

13. 'Gude morrow,' most sadly, the auld carle said,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
'Yere bringing me back my auld wife I'm afraid;
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

14. 'I tryed her in spunks, and incau'drons, tryed her,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
'An' the wale o' my brunstane wadna hae fry'd her,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

15. 'I stapped her in the neuk o' my den,
Hey! an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme.'
'But the vera damn'd ran, when the carlin gaed ben,
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.

16. "Sae here's a gude pose for to keep her yoursel',
Hey I an' the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme!
"She's nae fit for heaven, an' she'll ruin a' hell,"
An' the thyme it is withered, an' the rue is in prime.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 11:43 AM

The Devil Gulled By A Scold was published in Roxburghe: Chappell - Roxburghe Ballads vol 2: The Devil and the Scold. The notes there say that it appeared in two collections, Roxburghe and Rawlinson.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 11:47 AM

The reference is given in ESPB V AddCorr for 278 (p305 in my Dover edition)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 12:52 PM

TY Mick, also we see that Child did not mention it in his narrative but in the Additions and Corrections later.

I assume "How the Divell was guld by a scould" is a different printed broadside. Where is that? Does anyone have the date for The Devill and the Scold (below)?

Here's the text:

The Devill and the Scold

Of this ballad there are two extant editions, the earlier being in
the Roxburghe Collection. The second is in the Rawlinson Collection, No. 169, published by Coles, Vere, and other stationers-- a trade edition, of the reign of Charles II.

Mr. Payne Collier includes "The Devil and the Scold" in his
volume of Eoxburghe Ballads, and says: " This is certainly an
early ballad: the allusion, in the second stanza, to Tom Thumb
and Robin Goodfellow (whose 'Mad Pranks' had been published
before 1588) is highly curious, and one proof of its antiquity,
although it has reached us only in an impression, 'Printed at
London for Henry Gosson, dwelling upon London-Bridge, neare
to the Gate.'"

At the end of Mr. Payne Collier's edition of the ballad, he
gives a copy of the woodcut which appeared on the title-page of
that early edition of Robin Goodfellow.


[Roxb. Coll. I. 340, 341.]


A peasant new Ballad You Here may behold,
How the Devil, though subtle, was gul'd by a scold

To the tune or The Seminary Priest.


Give care, my loving countrey-men,
that still desire newes,
Nor passe not while you heare it sung,
or else the song peruse ;
For, ere you heare it, I must tell,
my newes it is not common ;
But He unfold a trueth betwixt
a Devill and a woman.

Tom Thumb is not my subject,
whom fairies oft did aide ;
Nor that mad spirit Robin,
that plagues both wife and maid ;
Nor is my song satyricke like,
invented against no man ;
But onely of a pranke betwixt
a Devill and a woman.            16



Then widdowes, wives and maides,
give eare, as well as men,
And by this woman learne
to gull the world agen:         
You may by this turne artists,
or masters of your art ;
And when the Devill comes for you,
you need not care a fart.         24

A woman well in yeares
liv'd with a husband kinde,
Who had a great desire
to live content in minde:
But 'twas a thing unpossible
to compasse his desire;
For night and day with scolding
she did her husband tire.         32

With "Roughish lowtish clowne !
despight thee He be wilde ;
Doest thou think I marryed thee
to use thee like a childe,
And set thee on my lap,
or humour what you speake?
Before He be so fond
thy very heart He breake!"         40

"Why, loving wife," quoth he,
"He never doe thee wrong,
So thoul't be rul'd by me,
and onely hold thy tongue:
And when I come from worke,
wilt please at boord and bed?
Doe this, my loving wife,
and take all, being dead."         48

"Marke well," quoth she, "my words!
what ere you speak me to,
By faire meanes or by foule,
the contrary He doe!"
According to her speech,
this man led such a life,
That oft he wish't the Devill
to come and fetch his wife.       56


Had he bid her goe homely,
why then she would goe brave ;
Had he cal'd her "Good wife!"
she cal'd him "Rogue and slave!"
Bade he, "Wife, goe to church,
and take the fairest pew,"
Shee'd goe unto an alehouse,
and drinke, lye downe, and spew.

The Devill, being merry
with laughing at this mirth,
Would needs from hell come trotting
to fetch her from the earth;
And coming like a horse,
did tell this man his minde,
Saying, " Set her bvut astride my backe,
He hurry her through the winde."

---The second part--
To THE SAME TUNE.



" Kinde Devill! " quoth the man,
"if thou a while wilt wait,
He bid her doe that thing
shall make her backe thee straight:
And here He make a vow--
for all she is my wife--
He never send for her againe
whilest I have breath or life."   80


"Content," the Devill cry'd;
then to his wife goes he :
"Good wife, goe leade that horse
so black and fair you see."
"Goe leade, Sir Knave!" quoth she,
" and wherefore not goe ride?"
She took the Devill by the reines,
and up she goes astride.          88

The Devill neighed lowd,
and threw his heeles i' th' ayre:
"Kick, in the Devill's name!" quoth she;
"a shrew doth never fear."
Away to hell he went
with this most wicked scold ;
But she did curbe him with the bit,
and would not loose her hold.       96

The more he cry'd, " Give way!"
the more she kept him in,
And kickt him so with both her heeles,
that both his sides were thin.
"Alight!" the Devill cry'd,
"and quicke the bridle loose!"
"No! I will ride," quoth she,
"whiles thou hast breath or shooes." 104

Againe she kickt and prickt,
and sate so stiffe and well,
The Devill was not [half] so plagu'd
a hundred yeares in hell.
"For pitty, light!" quoth he,
"thou put'st me to much paine!"
"I will not light," quoth she,
"till I come home againe."          112


The Devill shew'd her all
the paines within that place,
And told her that they were
ordain'd for Scolds so base.
"Being bereft of breath,
for scolding 'tis my due;
But whilest I live on earth
Ile be reveng'd on you!"             120

Then did she draw her knife,
and gave his eare a slit:
The Devill never felt
the like from mortall yet.
So, fearing further danger,
he to his heeles did take,
And faster than he came,
he poast-haste home did make.       128

"Here, take her!" quoth the Devill,
"to keep her here be bold ;
For hell will not be troubled
with such an earthly scold.
When I come home, I may
to all my fellowes tell,
I lost my labour, and my bloud,
to bring a scold to hell."          136

The man halfe dead did stand;
away the Devill hyde.
Then, since the world, nor hell,
can well a scold abide,
To make a saile of ships
let husbands fall to worke,
And give their free consents
to send them to the Turke.          144

Then, honest wives and maides,
and widdowes of each sort
Might live in peace and rest,
and Silence keep her court:
Nor would I have a scold
one penny here bestow ;
But, honest men and wives,
buy these before you goe. Finis.    152

Printed at London for Henry Gosson, dwelling upon London-Bridge neare to the Gate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 01:09 PM

The Carle of Kellyburn Braes- Robert Burns 1792

Of this song Mrs. Burns said to Cromek, when running her finger over
the long list of lyrics which her husband had written or amended for
the Museum, "Robert gae this one a terrible brushing."


There lived a carl in Kellyburn Braes,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
And he had a wife was the plague of his days,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

Ae day as the carl gaed up the lang glen,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
He met with the Devil, says, "How do you fen?"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

I've got a bad wife, sir, that's a' my complaint,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
"For, savin your presence, to her ye're a saint,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

It's neither your stot nor your staig I shall crave,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
"But gie me your wife, man, for her I must have,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

"O welcome most kindly!" the blythe carl said,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
"But if ye can match her ye're waur than ye're ca'd,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The Devil has got the auld wife on his back,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
And, like a poor pedlar, he's carried his pack,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

He's carried her hame to his ain hallan door,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
Syne bade her gae in, for a bitch, and a whore,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

Then straight he makes fifty, the pick o' his band,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme:
Turn out on her guard in the clap o' a hand,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The carlin gaed thro' them like ony wud bear,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
Whae'er she gat hands on cam near her nae mair,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

A reekit wee deevil looks over the wa',
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
"O help, maister, help, or she'll ruin us a'!"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The Devil he swore by the edge o' his knife,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
He pitied the man that was tied to a wife,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The Devil he swore by the kirk and the bell,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
He was not in wedlock, thank Heav'n, but in hell,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his pack,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
And to her auld husband he's carried her back,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

I hae been a Devil the feck o' my life,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
"But ne'er was in hell till I met wi' a wife,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 01:55 PM

Richie I assume it is the same ballad, looking at the full title.

Also Roxburghe vol 7 footnote refers to it as How the Devil was gull'd by a Scold (and also in the index for this volume). The footnote specifies the date June, 1630.

I was wondering if there's a Stationers' Register entry for it, but haven't turned it up so far.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 02:03 PM

Apparently there is a Stationers' Registry entry. This is a quote from To Be A Farmer's Boy - mustrad article by Mike Yates: On 24th June, 1630, a blackletter broadside, titled A Pleasant new Ballad you here may behold, How the Devill, though subtle, was gull'd by a Scold, was entered in the Stationer's Registry in London.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 03:23 PM

Off the top of my head. Always verify any Payne Collier ballads from other sources. He's a known fabricator. I'll check shortly but some of the earlier ballads simply tell the same story but have no text in common. Some of the probablilities here are that the earlier ballad inspired the later or they both derive from a common folk tale. The motif itself is so simple it could even have derived from a short joke or even a proverb. What is it...Hell hath no fire like a woman's fury...or words to that effect? I have copies of all of these so will check the queries and I'll try to date the different printings. The Pepys catalogue is good for this and Roxburghe does a fairly good job. I've just started a card index of well-known 17thc broadside printers. I know Gosson is quite early in the century and those combinations of 3 or 4 printers are towards the end of the century.

Mike and Mick are correct. Entry 1162 in Rollins is this ballad, June 24th, 1630, registered to Francis Coles. It was also registered in 1656 on March 13th but it doesn't say to whom.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 03:52 PM

A big extension of the joke in later versions is how she treats the little demons in hell and their pleading with the devil to take her back. This doesn't occur at all in the earlier ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 03:53 PM

There are also other 17thc ballads in which a man's wife defeats the devil with trickery but in these the man and woman are in collusion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 04:03 PM

It is possible the imps episode is an intrusion from another ballad on the same theme of the early 19th century (may be slightly older) called 'The Devil In Search of A Wife'. In this the Devil goes to London where he goes into a party. The women give him short shrift but he eventually carries one off, then we get the detailed description of how she mistreats the imps and their pleading with him to take her back as in 'The Farmer's Curst Wife'.

As with many ballads I think oral tradition has done us a lot of favours.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 06:31 PM

Isn't the broadside "The Sussex Farmer" by Pitts 1814-1844 essentially Child A?

Is the above broadside, or the original ballad it was taken from, the soure of Burns "The Carle of Kellyburn Braes" ?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 10:27 PM

That one's funny.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 10:41 PM

The Sussex Farmer is basically Child A without the whistles. The stanzas are exactly the same and except for one line and "devil" being substituted for "Satan", they are the same. Perhaps Dixon's version was adapted from this broadside.

THE SUSSEX FARMER- Printed between 1819 and 1844 by J. Pitts, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, London.

There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell,
And he had a bad wife, as many knew well.


The devil came to the old man at the plough,—
One of your family I must have now.

It is not your eldest son that I crave,
But it is your old wife, and she I will have.

O, welcome good devil, with all my heart,
I hope you and her will never more part.

Now the devil has got the wife on his back,
And he lugged her along, like a pedlar's pack.

He trudged away till they came to hell door,
And then he kick'd her in for a stinking old fro,

O then she did kick the young devils about,—
Says one to the other- Let's try turn her out.

She spied thirteen devils all dancing in chains,
She up with a broom stick and beat out their brains.

She knocked the devil against the wall,—
Let's try turn her out, or she'll murder us all.

Now he's bundled her up on his back amain,
And to her old husband he took her again.

I have been a devil the whole of my life,
But I ne'er was tormented so as with your wife.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 05:07 PM

It's very likely the existing broadsides had a heavy influence on oral versions, but to determine any likely precedents a full study would be needed. Dixon's sources were anything that came to hand and he rarely attributed his sources properly, though those he gleaned in his native Yorkshire Dales are usually the exception. Many of them are undoubtedly other print sources like broadsides.

An interesting aside. One of the Pitts copies I have has for its cut what looks like a portrait of Burns!

There is a copy of what looks like Burns' version in an Edinburgh songster dated 1806


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 08 Jun 13 - 04:25 PM

I just read the Sussex Farmer out loud to my mother and her friend. They're over here laughing :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 10:04 AM

Hi,

After considering the whole ballad, Farmer's Cursst wife, it seems that it is the concluding part of this tale/song as found in Cornwall in 1757: The Devil and the Farmer. The essential stanza is:

O spare a sinful wretch, he cry'd;
Forgiveness but this once afford;
Take all I have— nay, take my bride,
Who tempted me to break my word.

If anyone has infromation about this ballad (see below) let me know.

From: The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 27


Mr Urban, Cornwall, August 31, 1757. THE fallowing Piece is occasioned by a popular Story, current here in Cornwall , As it is now well known, that the tale Dearth-of Corn did not proceed from a real Scarcity, but from the mercenary Dispositions of the Farmers, in not fending it to Market: this Story may have a moral Effect, if you would give it a Place in your Collection.

... Yours, &c A.B.

The Devil and the Farmer. A Tale.

Addressed to the Corn-Jobbers.

YE Farmers all, with one accord      
Attend the dreadful tale I tell I
And take for once a poet's word,
The truth of it is known full well,

A farmer, in pursuit of gain,
To Bodmin market lately went,
To sell at highest price his grain,   
And gripe the poor, was his intent.

A tinner to our farmer came,   
With proffer'd money in his hands;
The price he asks him for the fame,
"Full twice twelve shillings he demands."

You talk too much, the tinner cries;
The farmer in a passon swore,
And to hit chapman thus replies,
Last night a neighbour ofter'd more.

Than part with it below the price,
   I'd sooner to the devil fell.!
My friend, b much you are too-nice;
I find that we shall never deal;

Now mark th' event.

—On his return,
An ancient gentleman he met,
Who bargain'd with him for the corn,
And for another score they treat.

In ten days time it was agreed,
The farmer mould his corn produce;
(Of which he said he had great need)   
In safety to his mansion house.

The bargain struck, and earnest paid,
The stranger made no longer stay;
The farmer strait repair'd to bed,
And slumber drove his cares away.

Up-rising early the next morn,
He instantly, without delay,
His servants call'd to thrash the corn,
And get it ready 'gainst the day.

Mean while another chapman came,
And ofter'd still a higher price;
Who all his scruples overcame,
And bargain'd with him in a trice.

In expectation of the grain,
A week beyond the time delay'd,
His former chapman waits in vain,
And now a second visit paid.

He rag'd to find himself deceiv'd.
And strait his proper figure took.
The farmer, of his fense bereav'd,
Thro' ev'ry nerve and fibre shook.

With anger kindling in his look,
The devil roll'd his fiery eyes,
And thus with dreadful accent spoke,
"Wretch! answer for thy villainies."

Recovering from his late surprize,
The farmer fell down at his feet;
And with uplifted hands and eyes
Began- his mercy to intreat.

O spare a sinful wretch, he cry'd;
Forgiveness but this once afford;
Take all I have— nay, take my bride,
Who tempted me to break my word.

Talk not of mercy, Satan said,
To such no mercy doth belong;
Who robb'd the lab'rer of his bread,
And deal in rapine, fraud, and wrong.

He caught him fast in his embrace,   
And upwards thro' the chimney went;
And left behind- him in the place
A sulph'rous and unsav'ry scent.

Now farmers all, I pray give ear   
To the conclusion of my song;
No longer fell your corn so dear.
Left you should follow him eer long.

TY Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 10:17 AM

According to Gardner E which explains why the farmer had to plow with hogs instead of horses or oxen- found in many US versions:

"The devil keeps coming around and taking things away from the farmer according to some pact between them. His cows and horses are taken, until he has only hogs left to plow with."

I assume this pact has something to do with the tale The Devil and the Farmer" above.


Lloyd wrote in the album's sleeve notes:

The tale of the shrewish wife who terrifies even the demons is ancient and widespread. The Hindus have it in a sixth century fable collection, the Panchatantra. It seems to have travelled westward by Persia, and to have spread to almost every European country. In early versions, the farmer makes a pact with the Devil and hands over his wife in return for a pair of plough oxen.

Waht are the early versions Llyod is refering to?

Does anyone have a link to the direct fable found in Panchatantra?

Child has: Benfey, Pantschatantra, I, 519-34

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 11:05 AM

Richie,
Re your first statement: I'm afraid you've lost me completely. The connection between the Child ballad and what you have here appears to me to be at best tenuous.

Re your second posting, Lloyd was merely expanding what Child himself says. I don't have access to these references but I don't doubt Child on such matters. Despite his faults Lloyd was also very widely read in international lore and I think like Child was a multi-linguist.

What we've already said about 17thc and other similar ballads bears out its widespread and ancient motif.

The only other area of balladry I know about, Scandinavian, as far as I know doesn't have this motif. Have you tried Stith's volumes on folk motifs?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 12:42 PM

Hi,

I'm not saying the 1757 "Devil and the Farmer" is related necessarily but that the concept of "Farmer's Curst" is a continuation of "Devil and the Farmer."

There is a pact made between the devil and the farmer- The devil in payment comes and takes away the farmer's oxen, then he comes and says one of your family I must take- etc and etc.

The 1757 "Devil and the Farmer" shows the reason for the pact and that the farmer offerd the devil his wife as compensation (payment) for his deeds.

What's missing in Farmer's Curst is the reason the devil is coming to see the farmer- and perhaps "Farmer's Curst" is an extention or created from the 1757 tale.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 01:06 PM

This is another humorus one- The Politic Wife- dating back to 1700s. It gives the reason the devil comes calling- where in "Farmer's Curst" the reason is missing:

    THE POLITIC WIFE; Or, The Devil Outwitted By A Woman. Printed between 1736 and 1763 by W. and C. Dicey, the Printing-Office in Bow-Church-Yard, London

Of all the plagues upon the earth,
That e'er poor man befal,
It's hunger and a scolding wife,   
These are the worst of all:
There was a poor man in our country   
Of a poor and low degree,
And with both these plagues he was troubled,
And the worst of luck had he.

He had seven children by one wife,
And the times were poor and hard,
And his poor toil was grown so bad,
He scarce could get him bread:
Being discontented in his mind,
One day his house he left,
And wandered down by a forest side, O
f his senses quite bereft

As he was wandering up and down,
Betwixt hope and despair,
The Devil started out of a bush,   
And appeared unto him there:
O what is the matter, the Devil he said,   
You look so discontent?
Sure you want some money to buy some bread,
Or to pay your landlord's rent

Indeed, kind sir, you read me right,
And the grounds of my disease,
Then what is your name, said the poor man,
Pray, tell me, if you please?
My name is Dumkin the Devil, quoth he,   
And the truth to you I do tell,
Altho' you see me wandering here,   
Yet my dwelling it is in hell.

Then what will you give me, said the Devil,
To ease you of your want,
And you shall have corn and cattle enough,
And never partake of scant?
I have nothing to give you, said the poor man,   
Nor nothing here in hand,
But all the service that I can do,
Shall be at your command.

Then, upon the condition of seven long years,
A bargain with you I will frame,
You shall bring me a beast unto this place,
That I cannot tell his name:
But, if I tell its name full right,
Then mark what to you I tell,
Then you must go along with me
Directly unto Hell.

This poor man went home joyfully,
And thrifty he grew therefore,
For he had corn and cattle enough,   
And every thing good store.
His neighbours who did live around,   
Did wonder at him much,
And thought he had robb'd or stole,
He was grown so wondrous rich.

Then for the space of seven long years
He lived in good cheer,
But when the time of his indenture grew near,   
He began to fear:
O what is the matter, said his wife,   
You look so discontent?
Sure you have got some maid with child,
And now you begin to repent.

Indeed, kind wife, you judge me wrong,
To censure so hard of me,
Was it for getting a maid with child,   
That would be no felony:
But I have made a league with the Devil,   
For seven long years, no more,
That I should have corn and cattle enough,
And everything good store.

Then for the space of seven long years
A bargain I did frame,
I should bring him a beast unto that place,
He could not tell its name:
But if he tell his name full right,
Then mark what to you I tell,
Then I must go along with him,
Directly unto Hell.

Go, get you gone, you silly old man,
Your cattle go tend and feed,
For a woman's wit is far better than a man's,   
If us'd in time of need:
Go fetch me down all the birdlime you have,   
And set it down on the floor,
And when I have pulled my cloathes all off,
You shall anoint me all o'er.

Now when he had anointed her
From the head unto the heel,
Zounds! said the man, methinks you look   
Just like the very De'el.
Go, fetch me down all the feathers thou hast,   
And lay them down by me,
And I will roll myself therein,
Till never a place go free.

Come, tie a string about my neck,
And lead me to this place,
And I will save you from the Devil,   
If I have but so much grace.
The Devil, he stood roaring out,   
And looked both fierce and bold;
Thou hast brought me a beast unto this place,
And the bargain thou dost hold.

Come, shew me the face of this beast, said the Devil,
Come, shew it me in a short space;
Then he shewed him his wife's buttocks,   
And swore it was her face:
She has monstrous cheeks, the Devil he said,   
As she now stands at length,
Youd take her for some monstrous beast
Taken by Man's main strength.

How many more of these beasts, said the Devil,
How many more of this kind?
I have seven more such, said the poor man,
But have left them all behind.
If you have seven more such, said the Devil,
The truth unto you I tell,
You have beasts enough to cheat me
And all the Devils in Hell.

Here, take thy bond and indenture both,
    I'll have nothing to do with thee:
So the man and his wife went joyfully home   
And lived full merrily.
O, God send us good merry long lives,   
Without any sorrow or woe,
Now here's a health to all such wives
Who can cheat the Devil so.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 01:13 PM

The common verses in "Farmer's Curst" about the woman climbing or mounting the devil's back may come from 'A Pleasant new Ballad you here may behold How the Devill, though subtle, was guld by a Scold' when the devil takes the form of a horse.

According to Ashton:

The story of this ballad is, that the Devil, being much amused with this scolding wife, went to fetch her. Taking the form of a horse, he called upon her husband, and told him to set her on his back. This was easily accomplished by telling her to lead the horse to the stable, which she refused to do.

'Goe leade, sir Knave, quoth she, and wherefore not, Goe ride?
She took the Devill by the reines, and up she goes astride.'

And once on the Devil, she rode him; she kicked him, beat him, slit his ears, and kept him galloping all through Hell, until he could go no longer, when he concluded to take her home again to her husband.

'Here, take her (quoth the Devill) to keep her here be bold,
For Hell would not be troubled with such an earthly scold.
When I come home, I may   to all my fellowes tell,
I lost my labour and my bloud, to bring a scold to Hell.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 02:08 PM

Richie - we had some previous discussion on The Politic Wife and its relation to Buchan's The Devil and the Feathery Wife here: Origins: The Devil and the Feathery Wife. Not the same song as Child 278 of course, but with some common elements (a farmer, his wife and the devil).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 03:05 PM

TY Mick,

I'm trying to establish the "whole" story of "Farmer's Curst" by exploring older British versions.

Many of the US versions start out with the farmer and his hogs, Flanders P:

Oh, the old man hitched up his hogs to plow,
Fal dal-diddle i-dy-o.
'Twas this way and that way, the devil knows how,
To my rang-rang fal-diddle i-dy-o.

Seems to me the reason he's plowing with hogs is: the Devil came and took away his oxen, then came for his wife. There's only one US version that explains this-- Gardner E (see above).

The first part of the ballad seems to be missing- I'm exploring versions to find possible answers.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 06:46 PM

I've always assumed perhaps wrongly that the farmer simply had a 'cursed wife' and spoke his woes aloud overheard by the Devil who offered to take her off his hands. The whole thing is a simple joke and if you start to add too many extras in it distracts from the joke.

If you come across a solitary version with a markedly different verse it is quite likely the result of an interfering bard who thinks everything needs an explanation. I don't see any significance in some versions having the farmer ploughing with hogs. If that was the custom in that locality then localising the intro would be perfectly natural. You've probably already noted the similarity of 'hogs' to 'ox' in pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 10:35 AM

Most legends concerning the devil involve a bargain in which the devil
provides assistance to someone, and returns later to collect that person's soul as payment. The Farmer's Curst Wife seems to be an exception.
    I've always suspected that the favor granted was the ability to plow the farmer' land with only a hog, or a pig and a cow instead of the horses which the farmer lacked. Has anyone encountered a version that explained why the Devil felt he was entitled to claim a member of the farmer's family?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 12:45 PM

Hi,

No one has explained Llyod's statement:

In early versions, the farmer makes a pact with the Devil and hands over his wife in return for a pair of plough oxen.

Llyod says "Versions" plural- I don't even know one version- waht versions is he talking about? Several on-line sites have quoted this- is it accurate?

Dick--Gardner E tells why the farmer had to plow with hogs instead of horses or oxen: "The devil keeps coming around and taking things away from the farmer according to some pact between them. His cows and horses are taken, until he has only hogs left to plow with."

Here's the complete version:

http://bluegrassmessengers.com.temp.realssl.com/1farmers-curst-wife--demorest-mi-c1900-gardner-e.aspx

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 02:45 PM

Richie,
Without having looked at all of the versions I would say that Gardner E is a hybrid of a folktale and TFCW. Hybrids are fairly common particularly when pieces have been in oral tradition for a long time. This also includes the marrying of folk tale and a fragmented ballad. Some versions of Hynd Horn take this form, The Maid Freed from the Gallows.

What is more interesting to me is Gardner A which also introduces the idea of swapping beasts of burden before the Devil arrives on the scene. Again these are a distraction from the joke. I think it would be worth comparing all of the versions that include this element. I strongly suspect they will all be American.

Dick, another common motif of Devil/Fairy tales is in the heat of the moment someone makes an ill-thought-out wish and the devil/fairy/other supernatural being, suddenly pops up and grants the wish. In most cases the wisher comes off badly, but as this is a joke, the farmer gets the best of the deal, at least temporarily.

I still say that 'hogs' is very likely a mishearing of 'ox' somewhere along the line.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 02:49 PM

Steve-
In this case, what's the deal? I don't see the farmer gaining from it (unless you think that losing a scold is a what he bargained for. re animals: "He hitched his old sow and his cow to the plow And plowed his field, the Devil knows how"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 03:55 PM

Sorry, Dick. 'best of the deal' is a very loose idiom over this side of the pond. That's just my unfortunate choice of language. 'Comes off best' would have been a more accurate description.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 05:28 PM

I know a folk tale in which every time the husband and wife quarreled she said, "The devil take ye!" And every time she said it, the devil appeared looking to collect. Each time the husband outwitted him. It's quite the yarn.

Because of "The Farmer's Curst Wife," we know what happened when he said it. He only said it once and ever after his request fell on deaf ears.

Pointy little ears with smoke coming out. Knobby little heads, sharp little claws and teeth like Shane MacGowan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 12:59 PM

Child 285-- Several researchers including Shay and Coffin attribute "The Coast of Barbary" ("High Barbaree") to Charles Didbin, however I can't find the Didbin song.

What is the name of the Didbin ballad that supposedly the "The Coast of Barbary" ("High Barbaree") is based on?

Coffin says: it retains the "plot outline and the 'Barbary' refrain."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 02:48 PM

I've been right through 2 volumes of Dibdin songs and nothing resembling it has popped up. There is a song called 'Blow high, blow low' but apart from that one phrase there is nothing in common.

I can't even see a song about piracy. They're all about the joys of being in the Royal Navy and all very sugary which is probably why very few caught on with ordinary ratings. They're full of clichéd terms, written for the theatre.

Having said that I have in the back of my mind a song that uses the chorus but without a title I'd be hard put to find it.

It is of course based on the 17th century original broadside anyway and Dibdin certainly didn't write that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 02:59 PM

The Didbin origin is attributed to Shay and I guess Coffin picked it up from Shay- I've looked through his complete works- nothing.

Perhaps the Blow high, blow low' title which isn't even close to the same song is what started this "rumor."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:10 PM

I still have the feeling I've seen a sheet music with the chorus and form of High Barbaree but more recent than Dibdin, and therefore likely based on 'High Barbaree'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 06:36 PM

Modern print editions eg: High Barbaree have sometimes attributed to Charles Dibdin. (see the sample image).

I too can see nothing in the Dibdin collections except for the Blow High, Blow Low title that seems related.

Bronson in a footnote to his introduction to George Aloe... (vol IV) reaches the same conclusion - that Shay was mistaken.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 07:00 PM

My post to the current "High Barbary" thread:



In his 1836 autobiography, the Rev. Thomas F. Dibdin, credits the "1909" song to his uncle Charles, saying it was the elder Dibdin's "first sea-song."

It was in print anonymously but complete with melody as early as 1788 in "The New Vocal Enchantress."

Except for the phrase in question, Dibdin's song has nothing to do with the Child ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 09:50 PM

Thanks Mick and Lighter,

Coffin also says the "George Aloe" is very rare in North America- yet I don't know of any versions- as far as I know they are all "Coast of Barbary/High Barbaree."

Anyone know of a "George Aloe" US version?

I'm also wondering that since their are US broadside versions of "Coast of Barbary/High Barbaree" dating back to the 1700s, why aren't there corresponding broadside versions with similar text in Britain?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 02:44 PM

What is the source of the (broadside?) Salcombe Seaman?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 12:22 PM

Hi,

There's supposed to be a comic version of the Child Ballad 289- the Mermaid in The "We Won't Go Home till Morning " Songster (New York. R. M. DeWitt), pp. 8-9.

The songster is online google books but I don't see it on page 8 or 9. Anyone find it?

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 06:37 PM

Can you give us a link? I can't even find the book on GB.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 08:40 PM

Hi,

Sorry- the book is there but it's not the deWitt edition. It's also in the Beauty of the Blondes Songster (deWitt) and the The "Slap-Bang" Songster. These are obscure so... I really wanted a copy of the burlesque--

The 1868 Carmina Collegesia version (it was a popular college song) is standard except it has the repeated last phrase with the extra repeated line:

1 'Twas Friday morn when we set sail,
And we were not far from the land,
When the captain spied a lovely mermaid,
With a comb and a glass in her hand, hand, hand,
With a comb and a glass in her hand.

Chorus: Oh the stormy winds how they blow, blow, blow,
And the raging seas how they go.
While we poor sailors are climbing aloft
And ye land lubber lying down below, below,
And ye land lubbers lying down below.

It has sheet music but I can't find it on internet achieve so I can't copy it (it's on google books).

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 12:31 AM

I'm posting this from my website, see it here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-mermaid--lewis-ma-c1808-kittredge-joafl.aspx

In 1913 JAFL Kittredge published what I believe is the earliest US version on record learned in 1808. It's very close to Child E (Motherwell c. 1824), which Francis Barton Gummere in 1907 (The Popular Ballad, page 125) called a burlesque. What Kittredge didn't know (he compared the first measure to Child A) was that the Lewis version's first two measures closely resemble the earliest version (not then known) "The Praise of Sailors" pre 1632:

As I lay musing in my bed,
    full warm, a well at ease,
I thought upon the lodging hard
    poore sailors have at Seas.

They bide it out with hunger and cold,
    and many a bitter blast,
And many a time constrain'd they are
    for to cut down their Mast.

This is a very significant comparison since I don't believe the first verses of "Praise of Sailors" have been known to be recovered. Here's the Lewis ballad:


3. THE MERMAID
The following fragmentary version of "The Mermaid" (Child, No. 289) I took down on January 4, 1878, from the recitation of Mrs. Sarah G. Lewis, who was born in Boston, Mass., in 1799, but lived most of her days in Sandwich and Barnstable. Mrs. Lewis thought she learned the song about 1808. The version is interesting because of its relation to Child's A in the first stanza. For a text from Missouri, contributed by Professor Belden, see this Journal, vol. xxv, pp. 176-177; for the tune (from Vermont) see Barry, this Journal, vol. xxii, p. 78. For broadside texts, see, for example, "Roxburghe Ballads" (ed. Ebsworth, viii, 446), Harvard College Library, 25242.4 (I, 207), 25242.17 (III, 36, 102, IV, 16, 147). The ballad is contained in "The Forget Me Not Songster" (New York, Nafis & Cornish), p. 79.

1. One night as I lay on my bed,
A-taking of my ease,
Thinking what a lodge the poor sailors have
While they are on the seas.

2. Sailors they go through hot and cold,
Through many a bitter blast,
And oftentimes they are obliged
To cut away the mast.

3. [Forgotten by the reciter.]

4. Up speaks up our captain so bold,
And a clever old man was he:
"I've got a wife in fair England,
And a widow I'm afraid she will be."

5. Up speaks up our mate so bold,
And a clever man was he:
"I've got a wife in fair Ireland town,
And a widow I'm afraid she will be."

6. Up speaks up our bos'n so bold,
And a clever fellow was he:
"I've got a wife in fair Ireland town,
And a widow I'm afraid she will be."

6. Up speaks up our bos'n so bold,
And a clever fellow was he:
"I've got a wife in fair Scotland,
And a widow I'm afraid she will be."

7. Up speaks up our little cabin-boy,
And a smart little fellow was he:
"I'm as sorry for my father and my mother too
As you are for your wives all three."

8. . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
This goodly ship she did split,
And down to the bottom she did go.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 10:01 PM

Hi,

Winding on down the home stretch-- on Child 295 The Brown Girl. Without going into whether there should be a Child 295 - it obviously is a mistake and the resulting ballads from the "Sally and her True Love Billy" should not be attached. Like Bronson I'm leaving them there.

My question is about Sharp H which I believe may be in the DT. It's attributed to Joe Blackett, and immediately I thought that was wrong- isn't it Joe Blackard as in Joe "Dad" Blackard. Joe was from Meadows of Dan, so it probably him. Anyone?

The other question is Sharp A and B:

Then fly from your colour [1] and be no more seen
When you have done dancing on Sally your queen.

1. country (Sharp's footnote).

Clearly country is wrong- I have some ideas but I'd like to see if anyone knows what "Then fly from your colour" means.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 10:08 PM

Here's my entry on my website with some of my ideas on this ballad and Sharp A:

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/fine-sally--sands-nc-1916-sharp-a.aspx

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Brian Peters
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 09:13 AM

Hi Richie,

Yes, Joe Blackett is indeed Sharp's apparent mishearing of 'Joe Blackard', according to Mike Yates in the 'Dear Companion' book.

From Sharp's diary, Meadows of Dan, 28th August 1918:

"[Mrs Shelor] sings me 2 or 3 songs and then tells us of Joe Blackett the postman who is home for the day. We call there to find him out but arrange with his daughter to call at 4 p.m. Then on the way home see the Preacher & make an app[ointment] with him for tomorrow "evening". After lunch & a short rest go to the Blackett's and stay there a couple of hours. He sang me 7 or 8 fairly good songs and is a 'banjer-man' while I played the piano — quite a nice one — and Maud & I sang."

Mike Yates relates that Dad Blackard's grand-daughter Clarice Shelor remembered the event well over sixty years later, particularly Sharp's skill in devising harmony instantaneously on the piano.

Here's some interesting information on the Blackard family, and a clip from Youtube: Suzanna Gal


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 03:59 PM

Richie,
You present a strong case for colours, meaning bodily colour. Sharp obviously hadn't come across this context before and tried to rationalise it as source singers have often done themselves when they met with an unfamiliar term. What would clinch it is if you could come up with another example of the phrase in a different piece of literature.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 07:33 PM

Hi,

I'm finishing up roughing in the US and Canada versions in my collection and putting them on my site.

Child 295 is the last (since I already did "Trooper and the Maid"). So I stumbled in a version of Child 295A from West Virginia in Singa Hypsy Doodle, even tho I'd seen it and put aside for later I never realized how important and rare it is until now.

Boette wrongly label's this Child 73, her notes follow:


According to Winnifred Brown Scott, who
sang this song in 1969, her aunt, Sarah Brown
Connolly, and her father, Emery Ellsworth Brown
of Ritchie County, sang it too. They said the brothers in the family sang it to tease their sisters. The
song utent back to the family of John Brown who
came to what is now Leutis County in 1784 and
built the old Fort Mongue on White Oak Flats.
Child No. 73 is usually known as "Lord
Thomas and Fair Eleanor," "Fair Ellender" or the
"Brown Girl." Found in many parts of America,
this is a most unusual uersion in that the brown
girl and the pretty fair maid change places.


The Bonny Brown Girl

Collected by Juanita Dawson



1- I am as brown as brown can be, my eyes are black as a sloe,
I am as brisk as a nightingale and as wild as any doe.

2- My love he was so high and proud, his fortune too so high,
He for another fair pretty maid, he left me and passed me by.

3- Me did he send a love letter, he sent it from the town,
Saying no more he loved me for that I was so brown.

4- I sent his letter back again saying his love I valued not;
Whether that he would fancy me, whether that he would not.

5- When a six months were overpassed and gone
Then did my lover, once so bold, lie on his bed and groan.

6- First sent he for the doctor-man; "You, Doctor, me must cure,
These terrible pains do torture me, I can not long endure."

7- Next did he send from out the town, oh next he sent for me.
He sent for me the brown, brown girl who once his wife should be.

8- When I came to my sick love's bedside where he lay so dang'rous sick,
I could not for laughing stand upright upon my feet.

9- The white wand I held in my hand and stroked it on his breast;
"My faith and troth I give back to thee, so may thy soul have rest.

10- I've done as much for my true love as other maidens may,
I'll dance and sing on your grave a whole twelve month and a day."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 07:58 PM

Here are Boette's notes edited:

According to Winnifred Brown Scott, who sang this song in 1969, her aunt, Sarah Brown Connolly, and her father, Emery Ellsworth Brown of Ritchie County, sang it too. They said the brothers in the family sang it to tease their sisters. The song went back to the family of John Brown who came to what is now Lewis County in 1784 and built the old Fort Mongue on White Oak Flats. Child No. 73 is usually known as "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor," "Fair Ellender" or the "Brown Girl." Found in many parts of America, this is a most unusual version in that the brown girl and the pretty fair maid change places.

It's important to compare this with the earlier broadside found by Steve Gardham, titled--

The Cruel Nymph

I am as brown as brown can be
And my eyes as black as a sloe;
I am as brisk as a nightingale,
And as wild as any doe.

My love sent me a letter,
Far from yonders town;
He could not fancy me,
Because I was so brown.

I sent his letter back again;
His love I value not,
Whether he could fancy me,
Or whether he could not.

My love sent me another letter
That he lay dangerous sick,
And I must needs go presently,
And give my love physick.

But now you shall hear what a love I had,
And a love for that sick man;
That I was whole summer's day,
One mile a going on.

When I came to my love's bed-side,
Where he lay dangerous sick,
I could not then for laughing stand
Upright upon my feet.

I sat me down by his bed side,
And laid a white wand on his breast.
And then cry'd I since you are well,
I hope your soul's at rest.

No sooner had I spoke these words,
He lifted up his eyes;
But since you see how bad I am,
'Tis you your love denies.

I'll do as much for my true love,
As any pretty maiden may:
I'll dance and sing upon your grave,
For a twelvemonth and a day.

When I have done what I can do,
I'll sit me down and cry,
And every tear that I do shed,
I'll hang them up to dry.

The date of the West Virginia version could be circa 1784, while Gardham says the Cruel Nymph is c1750-1770.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 06:12 PM

Richie if you look closely enough this has elements of Child 295B and is therefore a forgery following the forgery by Baring Gould and therefore cannot be any older than 1890. If you want to be generous the likely source is ESPB itself. Indeed it can't be anything else unless Dawson had access to the Baring Gould-Child correspondence at Harvard.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 08:01 PM

Hi,

It seems likely that this too is a forgery- as you say. But it's fairly unsually to publish family names as in the following. Any and all of these family members would likely read this:

"According to Winnifred Brown Scott, who sang this song in 1969, her aunt, Sarah Brown Connolly, and her father, Emery Ellsworth Brown of Ritchie County, sang it too. They said the brothers in the family sang it to tease their sisters. The song went back to the family of John Brown who came to what is now Lewis County in 1784 and built the old Fort Mongue on White Oak Flats."

Why would anyone publish something like this - if it were a complete lie? It was published in 1971 only two years after the informant gave the possible false version- but that seems beyond careless- which it may have been. There exists the possibility that someone in the family got it from Child's book in 1890 or later- since the verses are of Child A, B and two verses are also closer to Cruel Nymph.

Here's what I've found after analyzing the verses:

The Bonny Brown Girl- Verses compared to Child 295A, The Cruel Nymph and 295B; Sung by Winnifred Brown Scott; 1969. Collected by Juanita Dawson.

1- I am as brown as brown can be,
My eyes are black as a sloe,
I am as brisk as a nightingale
And as wild as any doe. [Child 295A- Verse 1; Cruel Nymph is same; Child B doesn't have "nightingale."]

2- My love he was so high and proud,
His fortune too so high,
He for another fair pretty maid,
He left me and passed me by. [Child 295B- Verse 2; Child A and Cruel Nymph missing this verse.]

3- Me did he send a love letter,
He sent it from the town,
Saying no more he loved me,
For that I was so brown. [Child 295B- Verse 3 and Child 295A- verse 2 same as Cruel Nymph; closer to 295B;]

4- I sent his letter back again,
Saying his love I valued not;
Whether that he would fancy me,
Whether that he would not. [Child 295b- Verse 4; Child 295A- Verse 3; slightly closer to 295B]

5- When a six months,
Were overpassed and gone
Then did my lover, once so bold,
Lie on his bed and groan. [Child 295B Verse 5; not found in 295A]

6- First sent he for the doctor-man;
"You, Doctor, me must cure,
These terrible pains do torture me,
I can not long endure." [Child 295B Verse 7 exactly; 295A does not have stanzas about the doctor]

7- Next did he send from out the town,
Oh next he sent for me.
He sent for me the brown, brown girl
Who once his wife should be. [Child 295B Verse 8 exactly]

8- When I came to my sick love's bedside
Where he lay so dang'rous sick,
I could not for laughing stand,
Upright upon my feet. [Child 295A- verse 6 not in first person; The Cruel Nymph, verse 6 is almost exact; compares not as well to 295B- verse 11]

9- The white wand I held in my hand,
And stroked it on his breast;
"My faith and troth I give back to thee,
So may thy soul have rest. [None except cruel Nymph in first person; closest to 295B but in first person]

10- I've done as much for my true love,
As other maidens may,
I'll dance and sing on your grave
A whole twelve month and a day." [Closest to Cruel Nymph and close to 295A; while 295B isn't close]


I guess the only thing to do is track down the informant to see if she's still living and see if the information is accurate. That doesn't mean it wasn't taken from Child's book but it means the whole family story is accurate- that other people from the family sang it that way. And I understand your contention Steve that it has to be a forgery.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 08:01 PM

Hi,

It seems likely that this too is a forgery- as you say. But it's fairly unsually to publish family names as in the following. Any and all of these family members would likely read this:

"According to Winnifred Brown Scott, who sang this song in 1969, her aunt, Sarah Brown Connolly, and her father, Emery Ellsworth Brown of Ritchie County, sang it too. They said the brothers in the family sang it to tease their sisters. The song went back to the family of John Brown who came to what is now Lewis County in 1784 and built the old Fort Mongue on White Oak Flats."

Why would anyone publish something like this - if it were a complete lie? It was published in 1971 only two years after the informant gave the possible false version- but that seems beyond careless- which it may have been. There exists the possibility that someone in the family got it from Child's book in 1890 or later- since the verses are of Child A, B and two verses are also closer to Cruel Nymph.

Here's what I've found after analyzing the verses:

The Bonny Brown Girl- Verses compared to Child 295A, The Cruel Nymph and 295B; Sung by Winnifred Brown Scott; 1969. Collected by Juanita Dawson.

1- I am as brown as brown can be,
My eyes are black as a sloe,
I am as brisk as a nightingale
And as wild as any doe. [Child 295A- Verse 1; Cruel Nymph is same; Child B doesn't have "nightingale."]

2- My love he was so high and proud,
His fortune too so high,
He for another fair pretty maid,
He left me and passed me by. [Child 295B- Verse 2; Child A and Cruel Nymph missing this verse.]

3- Me did he send a love letter,
He sent it from the town,
Saying no more he loved me,
For that I was so brown. [Child 295B- Verse 3 and Child 295A- verse 2 same as Cruel Nymph; closer to 295B;]

4- I sent his letter back again,
Saying his love I valued not;
Whether that he would fancy me,
Whether that he would not. [Child 295b- Verse 4; Child 295A- Verse 3; slightly closer to 295B]

5- When a six months,
Were overpassed and gone
Then did my lover, once so bold,
Lie on his bed and groan. [Child 295B Verse 5; not found in 295A]

6- First sent he for the doctor-man;
"You, Doctor, me must cure,
These terrible pains do torture me,
I can not long endure." [Child 295B Verse 7 exactly; 295A does not have stanzas about the doctor]

7- Next did he send from out the town,
Oh next he sent for me.
He sent for me the brown, brown girl
Who once his wife should be. [Child 295B Verse 8 exactly]

8- When I came to my sick love's bedside
Where he lay so dang'rous sick,
I could not for laughing stand,
Upright upon my feet. [Child 295A- verse 6 not in first person; The Cruel Nymph, verse 6 is almost exact; compares not as well to 295B- verse 11]

9- The white wand I held in my hand,
And stroked it on his breast;
"My faith and troth I give back to thee,
So may thy soul have rest. [None except cruel Nymph in first person; closest to 295B but in first person]

10- I've done as much for my true love,
As other maidens may,
I'll dance and sing on your grave
A whole twelve month and a day." [Closest to Cruel Nymph and close to 295A; while 295B isn't close]


I guess the only thing to do is track down the informant to see if she's still living and see if the information is accurate. That doesn't mean it wasn't taken from Child's book but it means the whole family story is accurate- that other people from the family sang it that way. And I understand your contention Steve that it has to be a forgery.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 08:08 PM

Steve- I know you've written an article where you point out the stanzas Baring-Gould used from "Sally" that he added to 295A to create 295B.

In his book, The Late Victorian Folksong Revival: The Persistence of English Melody, 1878–1903, E. David Gregory explored your article and comments that Baring-Gould's 295B, ascribed to John Woodrich, could have been combined with "Pretty Dorothy" another ballad that John Woodrich knew.

I looked at "Pretty Dorothy" online and I'm not sure if Gregory is right. What version did Baring-Gould use? I assume it's a broadside.

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 11:37 PM

Here's some information about the informant: the late Winnifred June Brown Scott of Harrisville, WV was born June 20, 1914, she married Paul J. Scott and they had at least two children: Paul Wakefield Scott b. 1941 and James Lee Scott b. May 12, 1955. Their children may be alive.

The names of her ancestors on the Brown side check out- the references seem to be legitimate and book has presented accurate information so far.

Neither the collector or the author knew what the ballad was- the author Marie Boette thought it was a version of Child 73, which may have obscured this version until now.

The title of Scott's version is not found in the text but is the title of Child 295A also similarly titled.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 03:45 AM

Will investigate more thoroughly later today.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 09:07 AM

Haven't got Gregory but will be looking for a copy shortly.

The closeness to 'Cruel Nymph' is curious and I'll be analysing this in detail later today.

If both the author and collector were not aware of Child 295 and seemingly 73 I wouldn't put much weight on their authority.

The most generous ascription I can give at the moment is that the family's perception of how far back the ballad goes in their family is wrong and the likeliest scenario is that their version derives from Child.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 09:14 AM

"and is therefore a forgery following the forgery by Baring Gould "
This thread keeps catching my eye, but whenever I dip into it I find that we're still in the Alice in Wonderland world of "forgeries" - as if we knew the origins of these songs and ballads for certain - ah well - back to the "romanticism" and "naivety" I suppose!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 09:51 AM

Gregory doesn't get very favourable reviews, but what I have seen of the work on Google Books looks very interesting and I will eventually get hold of a copy. Can't justify the expense at the moment. If you have a copy, Richie, could you please let me have a scan of the 3 relevant pages 150 to 152? If he quotes my work I ought to have a look at what he has to say.

Hi, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 09:55 AM

Hi Steve
Carry on pontificating
Jim Caroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 10:32 AM

Can't quite agree with your analysis, Richie, particularly the last verse. It is far closer to 295A than the version of Cruel Nymph I have before me. Will check others later. The only other thing that brings any further affinity to Cruel Nymph is the change to first person and as we both know changing person from version to version is very common and is but a moment's alteration.

Apart from all of this, as I point out in my article, the ridiculous language Baring Gould employed in concocting his hybrid is such a give-away and the supposed oral version follows this almost to the letter. Had this forgery ever been in oral tradition for any length of time such ridiculous language would have been ironed out quickly (IMO) that okay, Jim?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 04:35 PM

The last verse is in first person as is the Cruel Nymph version- that's why I consider it closer than 295A.


You can read most of The Late Victorian Folksong Revival: The Persistence of English Melody, 1878–1903 by E. David Gregory on-line on google books. I don't have a copy.

Gregory seemed to think Baring-Gould did not falsify and create ballads- at least that's his position. He did talk in some detail about 295-B and seems to think it is authentic- and attributes the "Sally" verses to "pretty Dorothy" a copy of Woodrich's version in Baring-Gould's hand is available to be viewed on-line at the Vaughn Williams web-site.

As far as "The Bonny Brown Girl" as sung by Winnifred Brown Scott; 1969, and collected by Juanita Dawson. It seemed unlikely that it is a recently (as in circa 1970) concocted forgery given the names that are supplied. If her parents sang it that would take it back to circa 1890 . It's certainly possible it was taken from Child's books but that seems unlikely. Because it so accurately follows the 3 known ballad texts it should be added to the known versions until more is known about it- if that's possible.

I would like to know the "Sally" text that Baring-Gould used to make Child 295B.

It's also almost impossible (according to Gregory) to prove conclusively that Baring-Gould recreated the ballad- if there's any doubt it should be noted.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 05:53 PM

Of course it's impossible as it is with many Child Ballads but that didn't stop Child from slating them, quite rightly in my opinion. By all means add it to the known versions. That is right and proper, but make sure you add in the other overwhelming evidence that makes it look extremely suspicious. I still maintain that 'Cruel Nymph' (which has 2 extra verses unknown to SBG and Child) is not part of the equation.

SBG also has previous. Look at the text he sent Child of The Gipsy Laddie which Child quite rightly rejected. He was also a known forger and hoaxer. SBG's biographers freely give this information, some of them his relatives.

Remember also Brown Girl/Cruel Nymph are also extremely rare, copies being found only in 18th century print in 4 copies. It is highly unlikely Woodridge or anyone else in his situation had access to these texts in the BL. We know SBG had access to one because he sent it to Child.

I'll investigate the Pretty Dorothy text. I'll be at the VWML on Saturday anyway giving a presentation on 17th century broadsides.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 06:32 PM

On page 152, E. David Gregory says that "There is no evidence that Baring-Gould was familiar with either this broadside [Brown Girl] or 'Sally and her True Love Billy.' Neither of them appear in his broadside collection."

However is you look at Baring-Gold's notebook, he wrote "The Brown Girl" by hand and on opposite page is "Pretty Dorothy" collected from Woodrich. "Pretty Dorothy" is a version of "Sally." I see no way that (as Gregory postulates) "Pretty Dorothy" can somehow become 295B- that's ridiculous.

Here's the link- see for yourself:

http://www.vwml.org/search/search-full-english?qtext=%22pretty%20dorothy%22&ts=1392938916599&collectionfilter=HHA;SBG;JHB;LEB;GB

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 07:54 PM

You need to scroll down a couple inches using the tool bar on the right of the gray box until you see the two media items. The first one has both "The Brown Girl" (Child 295A) with "Pretty Dorothy" on the opposite page.

I'm not sure what Baring-Gould used to recreate 295B, maybe Steve will enlighten us. It doesn't seem like it's taken directly from a broadside because of the odd language.

Gregory does look at Baring-Gould collected songs and his informants, he just didn't apparently look at Baring-Gould's notebooks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 08:40 PM

The reason I used "The Cruel Nymph" even though it was not known by Child or Baring-Gould is it has two additional verses. Broadsides are sometimes just versions of folk songs that are captured and printed.

Without deciding which is a forgery, we have "The Bonny Brown Girl" which is child 295A; Baring-Gould's "The brown, brown girl" Child 295B and "The Cruel Nymph," an earlier c. 1750 broadside.

Adding to this we have "The Bonny Brown Girl" from West Virginia circa 1874, which clearly is a version and is remarkably close to all three.

If deemed authentic, the WV version would corroborate Child's selection of this ballad and also Child 295B.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 09:34 PM

After looking at Baring-Gould's version (Child 295B) in his notebook as sung by Woodrich in 1888- it certainly doesn't appear to be a forgery.

After Woodrich text attribution, this is added, "also imperfect from Will Setter, Two Bridges, 1990." Then later when Setter's tune is given it says:

Setter sang it to the tune for "Green Bed."


Considering the tune for Woodrich's text is also given, it seems at first glance that everything is on the "up and up."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Feb 14 - 10:38 AM

I think you've got all the info you need, Richie. 295B is a hybrid of 295A and what Woodrich sang, a version of Sally and Billy. What more evidence do you need?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Feb 14 - 01:42 PM

Right, Baring Gould used both Woodrich and Setter's versions in his hybrid. Almost all of the Sally and Billy extracts in 295B come from Woodrich's version. The broadside is substantially longer and 295B contains none of this extra material proving that he only used Woodrich's version APART FROM one stanza, which in my original paper I assumed was a linking stanza made up by Baring Gould. However, it turns out that this stanza (9 in 295B) comes from Setter's version. (It is unique to Setter, or was at the time he collected it). Surely the evidence is now overwhelming!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Richie
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 10:27 PM

Hi Steve,

I don't doubt that Baring-Gould recreated the ballad as he has been known to merge different versions (Sharp).

I am curious about the West Virginia version and don't know what to make of it - unless it's dismissed as a forgery.

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 01:55 PM

Hi Richie,
I'm sorry but it can't possibly be anything else, as it's definitely based on mixing Child A, a very rare ballad, with Child B a known forgery. Perhaps 'forgery' in the case of the second event is too strong a word. We don't know there was actually an intent to deceive.
The writer could just have been trying to make what they thought was a good song out of what was available in Child. They had very poor taste in my opinion but that's irrelevant. Baring Gould's concoction was appalling.

I must also admit that for a song to be rewritten and then enter oral tradition anew is very plausible. From 1894 to 1968 is an awful long time!


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Mudcat time: 19 July 12:30 AM EDT

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