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DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283

DigiTrad:
THE CRAFTY BOY
THE CRAFTY FARMER
THE HIGHWAYMAN OUTWITTED (The Rich Farmer of Chesterfield)
WELL SOLD THE COW


Related thread:
Lyr Req: ChildBallad Farmer Going to Pay His (9)


Joe Offer 16 Aug 13 - 03:50 PM
Reinhard 16 Aug 13 - 04:13 PM
Reinhard 16 Aug 13 - 04:34 PM
Joe Offer 16 Aug 13 - 04:45 PM
Tradsinger 16 Aug 13 - 05:22 PM
Joe Offer 16 Aug 13 - 05:27 PM
Reinhard 16 Aug 13 - 05:43 PM
Tradsinger 16 Aug 13 - 05:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Aug 13 - 07:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 13 - 02:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 13 - 09:02 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/The Crafty Boy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 03:50 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I came across "Well Sold the Cow" in the Digital Tradition today, and I was intrigued. Seems it comes mostly from Helen Creighton's collecting in Canada, but it was also collected in the UK. I'm wondering what we can dig up. Roud lists it as #2637, "The Crafty Ploughboy," or "The Boy and the Highwayman." The Digital Tradition classes it as "The Crafty Boy" and ties it to "The Crafty Farmer," Child 283:
    THE CRAFTY BOY
    or THE LITTLE YORKSHIRE BOY (Digital Tradition Version 1

    There was an old farmer in Yorkshire did dwell
    And a pretty little Yorkshire boy he had for his man
    A pretty little Yorkshire boy he had for his man
    And for to do his business, his name it was John

    Timothy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol dol de

    Oh the farmer called down to his man John
    And unto him his man John he came
    Saying, "Take this cow to the fair today
    She's in proper good order and her I can spare"

    Oh the boy took the cow and away rode he
    The boy took the cow and away rode he
    He hadn't been long gone till he met two men
    When he sold them the cow for six pound ten
    Oh, the butcher he took the boy in for a drink
    Oh the butcher he paid down the boy his jink
    And turning to the landlord, thus he did say
    "What shall I do with the money, I pray?"

    "I will sew it in the linings of my coat, then," says he
    "For I'm afraid on the highway it's robbed I might be"
    Says the man to himself, while drinking up his wine
    Says he to himself, "That money is mine"

    Oh the boy took his money and away rode he
    The highwayman followed after him also
    "You're well overtaken, young man," says he
    "How many mile further?" the robber did reply

    "Oh four miles further," the boy did reply
    "Then jump on my horseback and jump up behind
    ...
    So the boy jumped the horseback and away rode they
    Oh they rode till they came to some dark lane
    Says the robber unto Jack, "I must tell you plain
    Deliver up your money without any strife
    Or instantly I will end your life"

    Oh the boy thought it was no time to dispute
    From the linings of his coat all the money he pulled out
    From the linings of his coat all his money he pulled out
    And among the long grass he scattered it about

    Oh the robber he unlighted for to gather in his money
    But little did he think it was to his loss
    While gathering the money in his purse
    The boy jumped a-horseback and rode away with his horse


    "Oh," says the boy to the farmer, "I must tell you plain
    It's robbed I was by a highwayman
    And while he was gathering his money in his purse
    For to make you amends I brought home his horse"

    Oh the farmer he laughed whilst his two sides he hold
    "That's for a boy you was very bold
    And as for that villain you served him right
    And your name shall shine truly through Yorkshire bright"

    In the pocket of the saddle was there to be found
    The gold and the silver of five thousand pound
    Says the farmer to the boy, "I must tell you clear
    Three parts of the money you shall have for your share"

    "I will give you my youngest daughter to be your sweet wife
    Take her and live happy all the days of your life
    And my youngest daughter to be your sweet wife
    Take her and live happy all the days of your life"

    Child #283
    Laws L1
    from Newfoundland
    @outlaw
    filename[ CRAFTYBY
    SOF

    WELL SOLD THE COW (Digital Tradition Version 2)

    1 Come all you good people, and story I will tell,
    'Tis of a rich landlord. In Yorkshire he did dwell,
    Also of a youth whom he hired as a man,
    All for to labour, Johnnie was his name,

    cho: Fol the lol the day, whack fol the daddle um,
    Fol the lol the day, fol the diddle all the day.

    2 Early one morning the landlord arose,
    Into Johnnie's room he speedily goes,
    ' Johnnie, you had better take the cow to the Fair,
    She's in good order and it's well her I can spare '. (chorus)

    3 Johnnie took the cow and drove her out from the farm,
    Right to the market as you may understand,
    He hadn't gone far when he met him three men,
    Who bought Johnnie's cow for seven pound ten. (chorus)

    4 Johnnie took the money which was paid in a jink,
    He went into a tavern for to get a drink,
    Once inside, the landlady he spied,
    ' Tell me,' he said, ' Where my money for to hide '. (chorus)

    5 ' I'll sew it in the lining of your coat,' said she,
    ' For fear on the highway robbed you may be '.
    The highwayman sat there a-drinking of his wine,
    He said to hisself, ' All that money, it is mine '. (chorus)

    6 Johnnie took his leave and for home he did go,
    And the highwayman he followed him also,
    He overtook Johnnie and to him did say,
    ' Jump up behind me boy and ride with me a way '. (chorus)

    7 They rode until they came to a lonesome lane,
    And the highwayman to Johnnie he did say,
    ' Give to me your money boy without any strife,
    Or else this very instant I will take 'way your life '. (chorus)

    8 Johnnie he trembled with anger and affright,
    Down from the horse he did instantly alight,
    From the lining of his coat he pulled the money out,
    And upon the ground he scattered it about (chorus)

    9 The highwayman from his horse he did dismount,
    Being very eager the money for to count,
    And while he was getting all the money in his pride,
    Johnnie stole his horse and away he did ride, (chorus)

    10 The master being out, seeing Johnnie riding home,
    Right up to him he speedily did run,
    Saying, ' My boy, you are looking none the worse,
    But tell me, has my cow been turned into a horse?' (chorus)

    11 The saddle bags were opened an in them there were found
    Of silver and gold twice five hundred pounds,
    A brace of shining pistols, and the landlord did vow,
    ' Johnnie, my boy, you well sold the cow '. (chorus)


    from the singing of Mrs Edward
    Gallaagher, Chebucto Head, Nova Scoria.
    @trick
    filename[ CRAFTYB2
    Feb07
    THE HIGHWAYMAN OUTWITTED (The Rich Farmer of Chesterfield)(Digital Tradition Version 3)

    1 0 there was a rich farmer of Chest'field,
    And to market his daughter did go;
    She was thinking that nothing would happen,
    For she'd been on the highway before.

    2 She met with three daylighted robbers,
    And three links they did hold to her breast;
    ' You'll deliver your clothes and your money,
    Or else you shall die in distress '.

    3 They stripped the poor damsel stark naked,
    And they gave her the bridle to hold;
    And there she stood shivering and shaking,
    Much perished to death by the cold.

    4 She slipped her right foot in the stirrup,
    And she mounted her horse like a man :
    Over hedges and ditches she galloped,
    ' Come, catch me, bold rogues, if you can !'

    5 Well, she rode to the gates of her father,
    Shee shouted, her voice like a man;
    ' Dear father, I've been in great danger,
    But the rogues didn't do me no harm '.

    6 She whipped the grey mare to the stable,
    And white sheets she spread on the floor;
    She counted her money twice over,
    She'd five hundred bright pounds, if not more.


    from the singing of Caroline Hughes, Poole, Dorset, 1964
    @trick
    filename[ CRAFTYB3
    SOF
    Feb07
    THE CRAFTY FARMER (from the Digital Tradition)

    l'm gaun to sing ye a sang,
    And I hope it'll gie ye content,
    It's a' aboot an auld fairmer
    Gaun awa' to pay his rent.

    cho: Sing fa la la la la la
    Sing fa la la la la lee
    Sing fa la la la la la
    Sing fa la la la la lee

    As he was a-ridin' alang,
    A-ridin' upon the highway,
    A gentleman robber rode up to him
    And then these words did say.

    "Whaur are ye gaun, kind sir?"
    This made the auld man to smile:
    "To tell ye the truth," the auld man said,
    "l'm just gaun twa-three mile.

    A doited auld carle am I,
    Just rentin' a sma' piece o' ground,
    And the half-year rent o' it
    Amounts to forty pounds.

    "My landlord's no' been at hame,
    l've no' seen him a year or more;
    Which makes the yearly rent o' it
    Amount unto fourscore."

    "You shouldna hae told me this
    When robbers there are so many,
    For if they met you upon the way,
    They'd rob you of every penny."

    The auld man winked his e'e,
    Says: "l dont care a fig!
    My money is safe into my bags,
    Right under my saddle-rig."

    The gentleman-robber then said:
    "Deliver up your money,
    Or else your life will be snuffed oot,
    For pistols are nae canny."

    The farmer he was crafty,
    As, in this world, are many,
    He threw the saddle oot owre the hedge,
    Says: "Fetch it if ye'll have ony."

    The robber he got off his horse
    With courage so stout and bold;
    Awa' in search o' the saddle he ran,
    Gave the auld man his horse to hold.

    The robber he flew in a passion,
    There was naething but strae in the bags,
    He drew oot his rusty auld gully
    And hackit the saddle to rags.

    The auld man put his foot in the stirrup
    And then he got on at the stride,
    And syne he set oot at the gallop
    Ye needna hae bidden him ride.

    As he was a-ridin' hame
    And gallopin' through the glen,
    He spied auld Maggie, his riding mare
    And shouted: "Maggie, come hame!"

    And when that he got hame
    And tell what he had done
    The auld wife she put on her claes
    And roond the hoose she ran.

    When the robber's bag was opened,
    A woderful sicht to behold,
    There was five-hundred guineas in siller
    And another five-hundred gold.

    And aye she danced aroond
    And made a muckle commotion:
    "If ever oor dochter gets married," she said,
    "It'll help to enlarge her portion."

    Child #283
    Laws L1
    From Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland, MacColl
    @Scottish @outlaw @trick
    filename[ CRFTFARM
    TUNE FILE: CRFTFARM
    CLICK TO PLAY
    RG



    Roud Index Search


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow
From: Reinhard
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 04:13 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index has this as The Crafty Farmer [Child 283; Laws L1]
    [Mudcat is sluggish today, allowing Reinhard to beat me to the Traditional Ballad Index. Here's the text from the Ballad Index. -Joe-]

Crafty Farmer, The [Child 283; Laws L1]

DESCRIPTION: A farmer carrying money from/for a transaction is met by a robber. The robber demands his money; the farmer throws it on the grass. While the robber gathers it, the farmer makes off with the robber's horse and all the wealth in his saddlebags
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1769
KEYWORDS: robbery trick money outlaw escape
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber,Hebr)) Ireland Canada(Mar,Newf) US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,NW,SE)
REFERENCES (33 citations):
Child 283, "The Crafty Farmer" (1 text)
Bronson 283, The Crafty Farmer" (43 versions)
Laws L1, "The Yorkshire Bite" (Laws gives three broadside texts on pp. 73-77 of ABFBB)
Williams-Thames, pp. 253-254, "The Yorkshire Bite" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Bk 11)
Greig #35, pp. 1-2, "The Yorkshire Farmer" (1 text)
GreigDuncan2 266, "The Yorkshire Farmer" (9 texts, 7 tunes) {A=Bronson's #25, C=#28 [misattributed in Bronson], D=#27, E=#34, F=#23}
GreigDuncan2 267, "The Farmer and the Robber" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {A=Bronson's #1, B=#3}
Dixon-Peasantry, Ballad #17, pp. 126-130,243-245, "Saddle to Rags" (1 text)
Bell-Combined, pp. 177-180, "Saddle to Rags" (1 text)
Kidson-Tunes, pp. 140-142, "Saddle to Rags" (1 text, 1 tune)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 406-413, "The Yorkshire Bite" (3 texts, 1 tune); also pp. 477-478, "The Crafty Farmer" (notes plus many stanzas from Child) {Bronson's #31}
Flanders/Brown, pp. 234-235, "The Yorkshire Bite" (1 fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #20}
Flanders/Olney, pp. 51-53, "The Yorkshire Boy" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #32}
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 97-102, "The Yorkshire Bite" (1 text, 1 tune, plus extended analysis including several excerpts) {Bronson's #29}
Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 139-175, "The Yorshire Bite" (9 texts plus 6 fragments, 9 tunes) {B=Bronson's #32, D=#29, K=#20}
BrownII 46, "The Crafty Farmer" [incorrectly listed as Child #278] (1 text plus an excerpt)
BrownSchinhanIV 46, "The Crafty Farmer" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 237-239, "Well Sold the Cow" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #26}
Creighton-NovaScotia 14, "Well Sold the Cow" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #19}
Greenleaf/Mansfield 20, "The Little Yorkshire Boy" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #21}
Leach-Labrador 60, "The Yorkshire Bite" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Peacock, pp. 33-38, "The Yorkshire Boy" (2 texts, 3 tunes)
Logan, pp. 127-133, "The Crafty Farmer" and "The Yorkshire Bite" (2 texts)
Leach, pp. 662-665, "The Crafty Farmer" (2 texts)
FSCatskills 117, "The Old Spotted Cow" (2 texts, 3 tunes) {Tune "B" is Bronson's #29}
Thompson-Pioneer 6, "The Kennebec Bite" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 157, "John Sold the Cow Well" (1 text plus mention of 2 more)
Sandburg, pp. 118-119, "Down, Down Derry Down" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #37}
Combs/Wilgus 89, pp. 130-132, "The Crafty Farmer" (1 text)
SHenry H51, pp. 129-130, "The Crafty Ploughboy" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 31, "The Crafty Farmer" (1 text)
DT 283, CRAFTBY CRFTFARM*
ADDITIONAL: Katherine Briggs, _A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language_, Part A: Folk Narratives, 1970 (I use the 1971 Routledge paperback that combines volumes A.1 and A.2), volume A.2, pp. 377-380, "The Boy Who Outwitted the Robber" (a prose version of the tale from Scotland)

Roud #2640 and 2637
RECORDINGS:
Warde Ford, "The Oxford Merchant (Hampshire Bite)" (AFS 4197 A, 1938; on LC58, in AMMEM/Cowell) {Bronson's #18}
Leonard Hulan, "The Yorkshire Boy" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 19(79), "The Robber Outdone" ("Come listen a while and a story I will tell"), W. Birmingham (Dublin), c.1867; also Firth c.17(20), "The Robber Outdone"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Highwayman Outwitted" [Laws L2]
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Jack the Plowboy
Jack the Cow Boy
Well Sold the Cow
Selling the Cow
The Boy and the Cow
The Highway Robber
The Scotch Herdie
NOTES: Roud has #2637 for Laws L1 Bite, #2640 for Child 283 - BS
Laws, obviously, considers "The Yorkshire Bite" to be distinct from "The Crafty Farmer." He may be right, but Coffin does not find any essential differences, and Bronson seems to regard them as subgroups. Even the three texts Laws gives for comparison have strong similarities in detail; it looks to me as if they are simply (bad) rewrites of the same original.
Given the degree of variation in the particular verses, it is hard to tell which texts go with which song. Since the versions are so close; I decided not to distinguish them. (One of the few instances where I lumped rather than split, but splitting requires a distinguishing characteristic!)
It's just possible that this has a real-life origin, though I doubt it: David Brandon, in Stand and Deliver! A History of Highway Robbery, pp. 29-31, reports that one Isaac Atkinson held up a young woman, who -- apparently thinking he wanted something harder to recover than her money -- threw a bag of coins in the ditch. Atkinson, instead of either pursuing his seduction or doing anything to control the girl, simply jumped off his horse to pick up the coins.
The girl then flew away on her horse, and by chance his horse followed. She was able to report where she had left him, and he was taken and hanged.
Brandon, however, cites no sources; I almost wonder if his tale doesn't combine this one with something like "Lovely Joan." Or, even more likely, with "The Highwayman Outwitted."
The tale of a robber tricking a man off his horse and stealing it has many more analogies, such as the folk tale of "Jack Hannaford," found in Henderson's Folk-Lore of Northern Counties and accessible on pp. 40-43 of Joseph Jacobs, collector, English Fairy Tales, originally published 1890; revised edition 1898 (I use the 1967 Dover paperback reprint). - RBW
Last updated in version 3.0
File: C283

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2013 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Reinhard
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 04:34 PM

I have Roud 2637 in these books and albums listed on Mainly Norfolk:

Steve Roud's 'The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs' has this song as 'Highwayman Outwitted'. The version he prints is 'The Yorkshire Boy', sung by Sam Fone, Mary Tavy, Devon (October 4, 1892), collected by Sabine Baring-Gould.

Mike Yates in 'Traveller's Joy', EFDSS 2006, prints 'Jack and the Robber', collected from Danny Brazil in Goucester in 1978. Another Danny Brazil version, recorded by Peter Shepheard at Over Bridge, Gloucester, on May 12, 1966 is on the Brazil Family's Musical Traditions anthology 'Down By the Old Riverside' (2007).

Roy Palmer's 'Room for Company', Cambridge University Press, 1971, has this song as 'The Crafty Ploughboy; or, The Highwayman Outwitted'.

Packie Manus Byrne sang 'John and the Farmer' in London in 1974. This recording is on his Topic album 'Songs of a Donegal Man' (1977).

Bess Cronin sang 'Well Sold the Cow' in Ballyvourney, Cork, in the early 1950s. This is on the Topic anthology 'Good People, Take Warning' (The Voice of the People Volume 23, 2012).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 04:45 PM

Please post corrections to the DT lyrics below, along with any additional versions of this song.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Tradsinger
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 05:22 PM

Here's an Appalachian version that I got from a singer from there but I can;t remember now where she was from.

There was an old man and he had one son
To make his living and his name was John
'Go get that cow and take her to the fair
She's in good order and fine repair'

Chorus: Right tether. Tither come a-rye tiny-oh

John went to the fair and he met 3 men
And there sold the cow for three score and ten
A young lady dressed in silk so fine
Sewed the money in his coat line.

Up jumped a highwayman, looking so bold
Said 'Give me your money, your silver and gold'
The robber drew out his big long life
Saying 'Give me your money or your sweet life'

John took the money from the lining of his coat
And all about the green grass threw it all about
While the highway robber was picking up the loss
John jumped on and road off with his horse.

He rode till he came to his father's door
There stood the old man to jump on the floor
Saying 'Where did you get the horse, pray tell?'
'I swapped it for the cow that I went to sell.'

There are loads of versions on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library site. The Danny Brazil version was recorded by Puzzlejug.

Tradsinger

The saddlebags were opened, there to behold
Five hundred dollars in silver and gold.
A fine pair of pistols, well to compare
'Daddy, don't you think I sold the cow well at the fair.'


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 05:27 PM

Tradsinger, do you have a title for the Appalachian version?

...and I don't think you meant to put "The robber drew out his big long life" - that's a knife, isn't it?

-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: JACK AND THE ROBBER (from Brazil Family)
From: Reinhard
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 05:43 PM

From The Brazil Family, "Down by the Old Overside", Musical Traditions MTCD345-7:

1-24 Jack and the Robber (Roud 2637, Laws L1 / Roud 2640, Child 283)
Sung by Danny Brazil. Rec: Peter Shepheard [66.6.11], Over Bridge, Gloucester, 12.5.66

There was an old farmer I'm going to tell you plain,
He had a servant boy and Jack was his name;
For he said to him, "Jack, take the cows to the fair,
For she's in good order for all I can spare."
Chorus:
With me fol the diddle I do, fol the diddle ay.

Jack drove the cow straight out of the barn,
And in to the fair the cow simply run;
He wasn't there long before he met three men,
And there he sold the cow for thirteen pound ten.
Chorus:

Jack went in the public for to get a drink,
And then to the landlady in ready money jinked;
"Where shall I put this money," to the servant he did say,
"For I'm feared on the road it is robbed I shall be."
Chorus:

"In the lining of your coat, you may sew it so," says she,
"I am feared on the road it is robbed you will be."
Chorus:

For the robber in the room he sat drinking up his wine,
And he swore to hisself "All this money shall be mine."
Chorus:

Now Jack left the public and started for home,
The robber followed after him straight out of the room;
"I'd be glad of your company, young man" he did say,
And he jumped to the saddle and he rode straight away.
Chorus:

For they both jogged along together 'til they came to the bine1 of a lane,
"And now," said the robber, "I'm going to tell you plain;
You come 'liver up your money without any more delay,
For this very same moment your life I'll take away."
Chorus:

Jack throwed the money out, out the lining of his coat,
And all about the green grass he sowed it all about.
While the robber was picking up the money that was sown amongst the grass,
Jack jumped to the saddle and he rode away his horse.
Chorus:

For it's one of the servants saw Jack coming home,
And in to the master he simply did run;
"Oh master, oh master, oh here comes Jack and I think he's had a swap,
And how did the old cow turn into a horse?"
Chorus:

"Oh master, oh master, I mean to tell you plain,
I met a bold robber on the highway that I came.
While he were picking up the money that was sown amongst the grass,
For to bring you home commission, sir, I brought you home his horse."
Chorus:

When the saddlebags was opened it's there I'll behold,
Five hundred bright guineas and some silver and some gold;
A good pair of pistols, the old farmer dewelled,
He said, "Well done, Jack, for you well sold the cow."
Chorus:

1 entrance

A song also known as The Crafty Farmer and The Yorkshire Bite; a version of Child 283. There are a total of 172 Roud entries between his two numbers - which tell of roughly the same scam in two rather different ways. This one, often called Well Sold the Cow, is the more interesting of the two, in my opinion.

Sadly, of the 31 sound recordings listed, no other versions appear to be available on CD.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Tradsinger
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 05:50 PM

I didn't get a title. The singer's name was Anne Albin and I am now going back about 35 years. I think she married and has a different surname now but I don't have any contact details for her.

And....you are right about the typo.

Tradsinger


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CRAFTY FARMER (trad West Virginia)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:16 PM

THE CRAFTY FARMER
(Morgantown, West Virginia)

1
This story I'm going to sing,
I hope it will give you content,
Concerning a silly old man,
That was going to pay his rent.
2
As he was a-riding along,
Along all on the highway,
A gentleman thief overtook him,
And thus unto him did say:
3
"O, well overtaken, old man,
O, well overtaken," said he.
"Thank you kindly, sir," says the old man,
"If you be for my company."
4
"How far are you this way?"
It made the old man to smile:
"To tell you the truth, kind sir,
I'm just a-going twa mile.
5
"I am but a silly old man,
Who farms a piece of ground;
My half year rent, kind sir,
Just comes to forty pound.
6
"But my landlord's not been at home,
I've not seen him this twelve month or more;
It makes my rent to be large,
I've just to pay him fourscore."
7
"You should not have told anybody,
For thieves are ganging many;
If they were to light upon you,
They would rob you of every penny."
8
"O, never mind," says the old man,
"Thieves I fear on no side;
My money is safe in my bags,
In the saddle on which I ride."
9
As they were riding along,
And riding a-down a ghyll,
The thief pulled out a pistol,
And bade the man stand still.
10
The old man was crafty and false,
As in this world are many;
He flung his old saddle o'er t'hedge,
And said, "Fetch it, if thou'lt have any."
11
The thief got off his horse,
With courage stout and bold,
To search this old man's bags,
And gave him his horse to hold.
12
The old man put his foot in the stirrup,
And he got on astride;
He set the thief's horse in a gallop,
You need not bid the old man ride.
13
"O stay! O stay!" says the thief,
"And thou half my share shall have!"
"Nay, marry, not I," quoth the old man,
"For once I've bitten a knave."
14
This thief he was not content,
He thought these must be bags;
So he up with his rusty old sword,
And chopped the old saddle to rags.
15
The old man galloped and rode,
Until he was almost spent;
Till he came to his landlord's house,
And paid his whole year's rent.
16
He opened the rogue's portmantle;
It was glorious to behold;
There was five hundred pounds in money,
And five hundred in gold.
17
His landlord made him to stare,
When he did the sight behold;
"Where did you get the white money
And where get the yellow gold?"
18
"I met a fond fool by the way,
I swapped horses and gave him no boot
But never mind," says the old man,
"I got a fond fool by the foot."
19
"But now you've grown cramped and old,
Not fit to travel about."
"O, never mind," says the old man,
"I can give those* old bones a root*."
20
As he was a-riding hame,
And down a narrow lane,
He spied his mare tied to a tree,
And said, "Tile, thou'lt now gae hame."
21
And when that he got hame,
And told his wife what he'd done,
She rose and she donned her clothes,
And about the house did run.
22
She sung and she danced and she sung,
And she sung with merry devotion;
"If ever our daughter gets wed,
It will help to enlarge her portion."

*these; *a vigorous movement.

No. 31, pp. 166-168.
J. H. Cox, 1925, 1967 (Dover Edition), "Folk-Songs of the South."


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD SPOTTED COW (trad. Catskills)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 02:22 PM

Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht and Norman Studer, 1982, "Folk Songs of the Catskills," SUNY Press, 1982, give musical scores for three tunes used with the versions of "The Old Spotted Cow," and discuss the relations between the three forms of Child Ballad 283.
The tunes set a "merry, humorous, and often a disrespectful mood" for the tale.
Prominent among musical versions are "The Jolly Boatswain," "Turpin Hero" and other Dick Turpin melodies, and "Brennan on the Moor."

Lyr. Add: THE OLD SPOTTED COW
117A, Sung by Elson Van Wagner

1
It is of a wealthy farmer, as you shall hear,
A very wealthy farmer who lived in Yorkshire;
He had horses, sheep and cattle and many other things,
And he had a man to work and his name was John.

Refrain:
Lol-di-dol, lol-di-dol, lol-di doodle, doodle, dy-dee-o,
Whack! fall the ding ang, doodle, dinky day.

2
One morning, very early, he called his man John
He came to him, as we do understand;
"Take the old spotted cow and go to the fair,
For she looks the best, and it's her I can spare."
3
The little boy started and went over the bend
With the old spotted cow, as we do understand;
Going a little ways, when he met two men,
And he sold the old cow for six pounds ten.
4
As these two men stepped up for to drink,
They paid him down his money and his chink.
Turnin' to the landlady, thus he did say:
"What shall I do with my money, I pray?"
5
"I will sew it in your coat," said she,
"Fear on your way robbed you will be."
The highwayman stood drinking up his wine,
And he says to himself, "That money shall be mine."
6
The little boy started home for to go;
The highwayman followed after, also.
Going a little ways, when he overtook the lad,
"It is well we have met once more," he said.
7
"How much further have you for to go?"
"Four more miles is as much as I know."
"Four more miles for me also;
Hop aboard my horse, and away we will go."
8
Then they rode and they rode, till they came to a lane;
"Now," says he, "I'll tell you plain:
Deliver up your money without any strife,
Or in this lane I will take away your life."
9
The little boy knew there was no time to dispute;
He reached to his coat, and the money dropped out;
He reached to his coat and the money dropped out,
And into the tall grass he scattered it about!
10
Then the highwayman, he leaped from his horse,
Not thinking to himself that it was to his loss;
But when he was a-picking the money from the grass,
The boy hopped aboard, and he rode away his horse!
11
The robber begged for him to stay;
The boy said nothing, but he rode away.
The old woman cried out, "What the Devil is the fuss?
Has the old spotted cow turned into a horse?"
12
"It is I have been robbed by a highwayman bold
Of six pounds ten in silver and gold,
And so, for to make up your loss,
I hopped on aboard and brought his horse."
13
"Oh, now," says the farmer, "for being so bold,
I will give you forty pounds in gold;
And as for the robber, you served him right,
You played onto him the Yorkshire bite!"

Pp. 440-442, with musical score.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HIGHWAYMAN OUTWITTED (trad Yorkshire)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 09:02 PM

Bronson, in his "The Singing Tradition .....," includes the naked lady songs in "The Crafty Farmer," Child No. 283.

THE HIGHWAYMAN OUTWITTED
Kidson; Yorkshire

1
It's a rich farmer in Cheshire,
To the market his daughter would go,
Not thinking that any would harm her,
She'd often been that way before.
2
She was met by a rusty (ruffian) highwayman,
Who caused the young damsel to stand (stay).
"Your money and clothes now deliver
Or else your sweet life is at hand" [you must pay].
3
He stripped this fair damsel stark naked,
And gave her his bridle to hold,
And there she stood shivering and shaking,
Near starved unto death with the cold.
4
She put her left foot in the stirrup,
And mounted her horse like a man,
Over hedges and ditches she galloped,
Crying, "Catch me, bold rogue, if you can."
5
The bold rogue he soon followed after,
Which caused him to puff and to blow.
Thank God that he never did catch her,
Till she came to her own father's door.
6
"Oh, daughter! dear daughter! what's happened?"
"Oh, father! to you I will tell;
I was met by a rusty highwayman,
Thank God! he has done me no harm."
7
"Put the grey mare in the stable,
And spread the white sheet on the floor."
She stood there and counted the money,
She counted five thousand and more.

With brief musical score.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 12:00 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 12:41 PM

Recorded on Folk Legacy by Margaret Christl & Ian Robb.

(from memory)

There was an old farmer in Yorkshire did dwell,
Had Jack for a servant - and that you know well.
The cows being gathered, he had one to spare.
Says:"Johnny, my boy, you must go the the fair".

cho: and sing fal-de-rol-day

So in through the glaire and out through the glen,
Jack led the cow on with a rope in his hand.
And on the way there, he met with 3 men,
And he sold them the cow for 16 pound-ten.

sing fal-de-rol-day

"When come to an old woman, he to her did say,
"Where shall I put all me money away?"
"Into you coat lining" to his she did say,
"For fear on the road, some robber might be!"

sing fal-de-rol-day

A little bit further, came to a dark lane,
And out jumped a robber, I'll tell you in plain.
"Deliver your money without any strife,
Or with this broad sword, I'll take your sweet life!"

sing fal-de-rol-day

Ripped open the lining, the money fell out,
And down on the ground it went rolling about.
While the robber was picking it up in his purse,
Jack made no delay, but leapt on his horse.

sing fal-de-rol-day

The robber bawled out- he bade Jack to stay.
Jack made no reply, but sped on his way.
Straight home to his own master's house he did go,
With a saddle & bridle instead of a cow.

sing fal-de-rol-day

His master came out all in a great rush:
Says "Johnny, me boy, me cow's turned to a horse!"
"Oh master, oh master, your cow I have sold,
"But I have been robbed of the silver & gold!"

sing fal-de-rol-day

Ripped open the saddle, and there to behold;
Five thousand pounds in silver & gold!
Besides, two brass pistols- and the farmer did vow:
"Johnny, me boy, you have well sold the cow!"

sing fal-de-rol-day

"And so, for your brave and your honorable day,
"Half of this money shall come to your pay!
"Besides, me own daughter to be your sweet wife.
"And she shall be yours, all the days of your life!"

and sing fal-de-rol-day

(when singing this, I always assume the old woman TOLD the robber where to look... and that they were probably related)

(also... I am always bemused at songs & stories where girls were given as prizes. In this case, I assume the farmer wanted to keep ALL the money 'in the family'.)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 03:03 PM

Glaire?

Not the French word, I know. What is it?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KENNEBECK BITE
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:56 PM

Here's the earliest US version I've found:

The Kennebeck Bite- Douglass 1841-1856

1. Near Boston there lived a mason by trade
He had for his servants a man and a maid
A Kennebeck boy he had for his man
And for to do his work his name it was John
Ral de dal lal lal de da

2. Twas early one morning he caled to John
John hearing his master he quickly did come
Go take that cow and drive her to fair
For She's in good order and all I have to spare
ral de dal

3. John takes the cow out of the barn
And drives her to the fair as you shall learn
In a little time he met with a man
And sold him the cow for a six pound ten

4. He steped to the tavern to take him a drink
T'was there the old merchant he paid him all his chink
He steped to the landlady and unto her did say
What shall I do with my money I do pray

5. Sew it up in your coat lining i think it the best way
For fear that you be robed all on the highway
There sets a highwayman a drinking of his wine
He says to himself that money is all mine

6. In a little time John started for to go
The hiwayman folowed after all so
In a little time he over takes John
You are welcome over taken says he young man

7. They rode till they came to a long dark lane
The hiwayman says i will tell you in plain
Deliver up your money with out fear or strife
Orhear i will end your sweet precious life

8. John seeing now no time to dispute
He jumped off the horse with out fear or doubt
And from the coat lining he pulled the money out
And among the tall grass he strewed it all about

9. The hiwayman comeing down from his horse
But little did he think it would be to his loss
Whilst he was picking the money that was strewd
John jumped upon the horse and away did ride

10. The hiwayman called to John forto stop
But little did he mind but away he did trot
Home to his master and thus he did bring
A horse and a saddle and many a fine thing

11. The maid steped to the door to see John return
She went to quaint her master that was in the other room
He steped to the door and says to him thus
The devil has my cow turned into a horse

12. Oh no your cow I very well sold
But robed on the way by a hiwayman bold
And whilst he was putting your money in his purse
To make your amends i came off with his horse

13. The bags were taken off and out of them were told
Five hundred pounds in silver and in gold
Besides a pair of pistols he says jack i vow
I think my good old master i very well sold [your cow]

14. As for a lad you have done very wrath [rare]
Three quarters of the money you shall have for your share
As for the villain you served him just rite
I think you tucked upon him a Kenebec bite

The broadside The Yorkshire Bright was printed in 1826 by Henry Trumbull; Printed and sold at the Book-Store No. 25, High Street, Providence. Some of the Canadian version also use "bright" [sic]. There's a copy in the Harvard Library. Anyone have text?

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 04:19 AM

The Packie Manus Byrne version, titled "The Highwayman Outwitted", is cutrrently available on Veteran CD "Donegal & Back" (Veteran VT132CD).


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Subject: Lyr Add: SELLING THE COW (trad southern US)
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:41 PM

Hi,

Surely the most bizarre and suspect US version is from Folk-Songs of the Southern United States 1925. To see why, read my notes here:http://bluegrassmessengers.com.temp.realssl.com/selling-the-cow--gainer-wv-c1924-combs-wootfer.aspx

[Selling the Cow] The Crafty Farmer [89]
(Child No. P83)
(Laws L1)

Known by the title "selling the cow," a secondary form of the child ballad. In the New World the farmer or miller is riplaced by a young South Carolina Negro, and the rent of the farm by a cow. The action takes place in Staunton, Virginia. Contributed by F. C. Gainer, Gilmer Co., West Virginia.

In Staunton there did dwell
A merchant by trade;
He had two niggers,
A man and a maid.

A South Carolina boy
He had for his man,
And for to do his business,
His name it was Fran.

He said to Fran early one morning,
"Franny, take the cow and drive her to the fair;
For she is in good order
And all we have to spare."

Fran took the cow
And drove her to the fair;
And on the way he met three men,
And sold the cow for three pounds ten.

They went into the tavern
All for to take a drink;
And there the farmers
Paid. him all the chink.[1]


Franny said to the landlad
This did he say:
"What shall I do
With all this money, pray?"

"I will sew it in your
Coat lining," said she;
"For on the highway
You robbed may be."

The highwayman sat behind,
Drinking of his wine;
Says he to himself,
"This money is all mine."

Fran got on his horse to go,
The highwayman also.

TheY rode till they came
To a long dark land;
"And. now, black boy,
I will tell you plain,

You must hand over your money
Without fear or strife,
Or I shall surely
Take your dear life."

Franny jumped off his horse
Without fear or doubt,
And from his coat lining
He pulled the money out,
And in the tall grass
He strewed it about.

The highwayman came
Down from his horse;
Little did he think
It was for his loss.

For a while he was picking
The money that was strewed;
Franny jumped on his horse
And away he rode.

The maid seeing Fran
Returning home,
Went to call her master
In another room.

'Why, Fran, has my cow
Turned into a horse?"
'O no, my good master,
I well sold your cow
But was robbed of the money
By a highwayman bold.

"And while he was putting
The money in his purse,
To make you amends
I came off with his horse."

The saddle-bags were taken off,
Axd out of them were told
Five thousand pounds
In silver and in gold.

"I swear, my good master,
I well sold your cow."
"As for a boy
You've done very rare;
One part of this money
You shall have for your share.

"But as for the villain,
You served him just right;
For you have put upon him
A South Carolina bite."


1 Chink = money.

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 01:21 PM

The Roud Index (quite rightly IMO) treats these 3 broadside ballads as separate songs as I do. Bronson was merely following Child. Their only real connection is that 1 of 3 probably inspired the other 2 or some such combination. We keep using the words 'version' and 'variant' in a very loose manner. Where songs actually have overlapping text and where obvious hybrids occur they must be related but songs that merely share ideas are not the same song nor should they be considered as versions, variants; of the story, yes. The DT seems to confuse the issue as this is not the first example I have come across. I feel a conference coming on to discuss the parameters.

Richie, I'm curious as to your use of the word 'suspect'! Ballads have always been relocalised/repersonalised etc. Do we have a problem with this?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 02:45 PM

Hi Steve,

Please look at the link- this version seems to have been composed, rather than transmitted- that's why I consider the source suspect.

Kittredge for one, did not consider "Yorkshire Bite" to be a version of 283 Crafty Farmer. Bronson and folk Index lump them. Are you saying they are not the same, that 'Yorkshire Bite' is categorized differently. I noticed there are two Roud numbers.

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 12:17 AM

Thanks for posting, Joe. I've enjoyed reading the stories.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:34 AM

Okay, this is only my own opinion, but it's also how the Roud Index works.
The 3 separate ballads are
The farmer himself is the hero
The farmer's daughter is the hero
Yorkshire John is the hero

There should be 3 Roud numbers but I'll check this. Off the top of my head they have no text in common other than the odd word that you would expect in songs dealing with the same story. In my book that makes them separate songs. If you really need it I'll check out their differences and post.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:41 AM

Richie
If you're referring to the Staunton version you gave, off the top of my head I can see little difference between this version and the broadsides. Just a few characters, places and details have been localised which is what happens in oral tradition and in broadside tradition. I don't necessarily see a sophisticated hand in there.

The broadside hack tradition was at least equally as responsible as oral tradition for the wide variation we see from version to version of almost any ballad.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 05:56 PM

OK Steve- in 1975 Patrick Gainer gives a completely different text for the same informant (his grandfather)- and since Woofter "collected" it in 1924 and Patrick Gainer I'm sure knew- something is amiss.

The three basic ballads you mentioned:

Crafty Farmer
Maid of Rygate
Yorkshire Bite

There are two Roud numbers and the versions are all mixed up- I see no rhyme or reason for which ballad goes with which number.

Let me know about what Roud is doing here,

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:00 AM

These ballad had a life totally separated from the literary circulation on broadsides - including among the non-literate Travelling people who were unlikely ever to have learned them from print.
This one in particular was particularly popular with English and Scots Travellers, Caroline Hughes being the source of one of the better known versions.
It is quite rare in the south of Ireland, though it has been recorded here.
A particularly sad capturing of it was by Tom Munnelly, who got it from appropriately named small farmer Hughie Clare of County Clare, who sang it onto the tape recorder when he was dying of throat cancer.
Tom often used it as a rare example of one of the fifty Child ballads which were recovered from source singers in Ireland in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 03:44 PM

Happy New year, Jim and Richie.

Richie,
Ah yes, now I remember our discussion of the suspicions surrounding the Gainer/Woofter material. You could well be right in this case.

I'll have a look at what Steve has got down and of the basic 3 ballads. I'm sure I've got in-depth studies somewhere. It may well be that in the latest version of the Index they have been properly separated. The simplest way is to go back to the earliest broadsides with all 3 and compare.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 03:55 PM

Before I check in detail here is a short answer from my own indexes.

Roud 2637=Laws L1=The Craft Ploughboy (your Yorkshire Bite)

Roud 2638=Laws L2= The Highwayman Outwitted (your Maid of Rygate)

Roud 2640=Child 283=The Crafty Farmer

All 3 are found in oral tradition and on broadsides but the Child ballad is the rarest in oral tradition.

If Steve has some under the wrong number please let me know and I'll give them an overhaul. All 3 are on broadsides c1800 some a little earlier.

With reasonably full versions all 3 are easily distinguished.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAMPSHIRE BITE (trad Vermont)
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 09:49 PM

Happy New Year,

Roud 2640 has 49 listings many of them - including the "Selling the Cow" which I posted above (Collected Woofter c. 1924- pub. Combs 1925) are put under 2640 - The Crafty Farmer (only one US version is 2640 and it is from Cox pub. 1925). I'm not going to sort through but it should be done.

A version - Flanders j may date back to the 1700s but I'm having trouble because Flanders info seems to be wrong:

"Miss May Louise Harvey of Woodstock, Vermont, sang this as learned from her mother, Rebecca Greenough, who came in 1853 to Vermont after her marriage. This was sung by Mrs, Greenough's grandmother, Mrs. Rebecca Hoyt who lived, near Concord, New Hampshire, when Mrs. Greenough was a child."

The informant, May Louise Harvey of Woodstock, Vermont (1861-1953) was the daughter of George Henry Harvey (b. 1827) and Rebecca Susan Hoyt (b. 1833) who was adopted by James Greenough and apparently took his name becoming Rebecca S. Greenough. So May Louise was the daughter of George Henry Harvey and Rebecca S. Greenough.

Can someone sort this out? If she was Hoyt's grandmother she would have been born in the 1700s-- taking this ballad back a ways.

Hampshire Bite

There liv-ed in London a mason by trade.
He had for his servants a man and a maid.
A Hampshire boy he had for his man
And for to do his business; his name it was John.
Lol-de-dol, lol-de-dol, troddle all,
Lol-de-do1-de diddte all de day.

One morning so early he call-ed for John.
John hearing his voice so quickly did come.
"Take this cow, John; drive her to the fair
For she's in good order and all we have to spare."

(Repeat refrain af ter each stanza.)

Johnny took the cow all out of the barn
And drove her to the fair, as we do learn.
In a little time he met three men
When he sold them the cow for six pounds ten.

They went into a tavern all for to take a drink
And then the old farmer paid him all the chink.
He spoke to the landlady and this he did say,
"And what shall I do with my money, I pray?"

Rcihie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 03:55 PM

Hi Richie,
A few points about the Roud Index.

1) It is massive and Steve doesn't have time to check through every text carefully. For many of the American versions in collections and manuscripts unpublished all he had to go on was a title so some guesswork had to be done.

2) It is a 'work in progress' and probably will always be so. If anyone spots any obvious errors these should be sent to Steve and he will correct them. I do this on a regular basis in batches and there are plenty of ballads which have been renumbered due to confusions such as hybridisation or commonplaces, or even cases where the Index has had 2 or more scarce songs which are the same song under different numbers. It just isn't possible for one person to be aware of every version of every folk song so these blips are bound to occur.

As soon as I get time I'll look at the online version of the Index and try to identify any of the 3 under the wrong number. You might be better placed to do this with unpublished American versions as I also do not have access to many of these. As I said, if you have access to a text, identifying which ballad it is is easy.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 04:12 PM

Re the family tree, Rebecca heard the song from her grandmother when she was a child, i.e., post 1833, say 1840. If her grandmother learnt it either directly or indirectly from a broadside c1800 that all fits in fine, unless I've misread it. The earliest dated version I have is 1801, but there is some suggestion that there were earlier versions, possibly it could go back as far as 1750. It was widely printed around 1800 and later in the century. The Vermont version is a fragment and the first 2 lines have been remade or adopted from another ballad but the rest is pretty standard. You can listen to a standard version on our website at www.yorkshirefolksong.net


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 08:47 PM

Hi Steve,

There are mistakes in Flanders esp in the bio section where the collectors got confused about the names of relatives. So in this case--Rebecca Hoyt and Rebecca Greenough are the same person because she was adopted- Rebeccas Hoyt is not Rebecca Greenough's grandmother as Flanders says. Nor is there a Rebecca Hoyt that is her grandmother as far as I could tell by checking briefly the genealogy. Therefore who knows if the assertion is correct. If it is- this dates back to the 1700s.

Flanders G can be traced back before the Revolutionary War (1776) by tracing the ballad through family lineage. Even in this version there is a confusing statement at the end.

I can take a peak at the Roud index and email you some changes,

TY

R-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM

I'm not convinced by the assertions in Flanders. People sometimes make these wild exaggerated claims to the pedigrees of songs to boost the song's prestige. I've come across similar claims before especially with Child Ballads (which this isn't),and without back-up or proof I tend to treat them with a pinch of salt, but then as you know I'm the greatest skeptic going.

What is significant here is that all of the Flanders versions start with the same first 2 lines which certainly do not occur on the many British broadsides, and I doubt on any of the British oral versions that stem from the broadsides. The possibility presents itself here of a New England chapbook version rewritten for the chapbook. New Englanders would know where London was but perhaps not Hertforshire.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE YORKSHIRE BITE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Oct 15 - 10:55 AM

Copied from The Yorkshire Garland Group, where there is also a recording, musical notation, and ABC notation.


THE YORKSHIRE BITE

1. If you please, do draw near, it's the truth I declare,
It was of an old farmer in Herefordshire;
He'd a fair Yorkshire boy who acted as man
To manage his business; his name they called John.

CHORUS: To me fol-the-dol-lero-li-day.

2. One morning quite early he called up his man,
And when he came to him, as we understand,
He said, 'Take this cow to Hereford Fair.
She is in good order; I can well her spare.' CHORUS

3. Away went the boy with his whip in his hand
And soon reached the fair, as you'll all understand.
Well, in a short time he met with three men
And sold one his cow for six pounds ten. CHORUS

4. They went to an alehouse in order to drink.
It was there that the farmer paid the boy down his chink.
The boy to the landlady then he did say:
'Oh, what shall I do with this money, I pray?' CHORUS

5. 'I will sew it within thy coat-lining,' said she,
'For fear on the road there a robber should be.'
Close by sat a highwayman drinking his wine.
Thought he to himself: 'That money is mine.' CHORUS

6. The boy took his leave and he homeward did go,
And the highwayman soon followed after also.
He soon overtook him upon the highway,
And, 'Well overtaken, young man,' he did say. CHORUS

7. 'Will you get up behind me?' the highwayman said.
'How far are you going?' replied the lad.
'Well, it's three or four miles for what I do know.'
So he jumped up behind and away they did go. CHORUS

8. They rode till they came to a very dark lane.
The highwayman says: 'Now I'll tell you quite plain:
Deliver up your money without noise or strife,
Or else I shall certainly take your sweet life.' CHORUS

9. The boy soon found out there could be no dispute,
So he quickly alighted without fear or doubt.
He tore his coat linings, the money took out,
And among the long grasses he strewed it about. CHORUS

10. The highwayman then he jumped down off his horse,
But little he thought that it was for his loss,
And before he could find any money, they say,
The boy jumped on horseback and rode fast away. CHORUS

11. The highwayman shouted and begged him to stay.
The boy wouldn't hear him, but kept on his way,
And to his old master the boy he did bring
Horse, saddle and bridle, a very fine thing. CHORUS

12. The master he laughed while his sides he did hold
And said: 'For a boy thou hast been very bold.
Now as for the villain, thou hast served him right
And hast put upon him a real Yorkshire bite.' CHORUS

13. They searched in the saddle bags and quickly they told
Two-hundred pounds in silver and gold,
And two brace of pistols; the boy he did vow:
'I think, good master, I've well sold the cow!' CHORUS


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: Mo the caller
Date: 09 Oct 15 - 08:48 AM

Villains seem remarkably careless with their horses (cf Lovely Joan).
Are there any versions where they leave ignition keys in the car?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Well Sold the Cow/Crafty Farmer-Child 283
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 04:35 PM

Elizabeth Cron7n has 'Well sold the cow', Cork


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Mudcat time: 20 June 10:48 PM EDT

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