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Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7

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Richie 09 Mar 14 - 01:05 AM
Richie 09 Mar 14 - 08:16 AM
Steve Gardham 09 Mar 14 - 01:34 PM
Richie 09 Mar 14 - 10:35 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Mar 14 - 01:58 PM
Richie 10 Mar 14 - 10:43 PM
Steve Gardham 11 Mar 14 - 11:14 AM
Richie 12 Mar 14 - 12:35 AM
Richie 12 Mar 14 - 04:12 PM
Richie 31 Mar 14 - 03:01 PM
Richie 03 Apr 14 - 05:02 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Apr 14 - 05:24 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Apr 14 - 05:45 PM
Richie 03 Apr 14 - 08:40 PM
Richie 08 Apr 14 - 10:00 PM
Richie 08 Apr 14 - 10:06 PM
Richie 09 Apr 14 - 04:00 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Apr 14 - 04:48 PM
Richie 09 Apr 14 - 11:41 PM
Richie 09 Apr 14 - 11:51 PM
Richie 20 Apr 14 - 02:13 PM
Richie 20 Apr 14 - 02:22 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Apr 14 - 02:33 PM
Richie 20 Apr 14 - 02:36 PM
Richie 20 Apr 14 - 02:55 PM
Richard Mellish 20 Apr 14 - 05:41 PM
Richie 20 Apr 14 - 06:10 PM
Richie 20 Apr 14 - 06:57 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Apr 14 - 03:22 PM
Richie 21 Apr 14 - 09:10 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Apr 14 - 11:29 AM
Richie 24 Apr 14 - 08:51 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Apr 14 - 12:48 PM
Richie 26 Apr 14 - 09:48 PM
Richie 27 Apr 14 - 08:16 AM
Richie 27 Apr 14 - 08:43 AM
Brian Peters 27 Apr 14 - 09:26 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Apr 14 - 09:41 AM
Lighter 27 Apr 14 - 11:44 AM
Richie 27 Apr 14 - 12:20 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Apr 14 - 01:52 PM
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Richie 28 Apr 14 - 11:44 AM
Richie 07 May 14 - 09:58 PM
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Steve Gardham 08 May 14 - 06:08 PM
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Subject: Origins: Origins: US version Child Ballads Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 01:05 AM

Hi,

I'm starting Part 7 which is a review of the US/Canada version of the 305 Child ballads.

I'm looking at Child No. 4 and need some help with "Western Tragedy". Apparently the earliest US version is title "western Tragedy" and is a broadside dated 1800 (Ford 3399). It begins:

O heard ye of a bloody knight
Liv'd in the west country,

Anyone have more info on this broadside. Another broadside: Two Excellent New Songs: I. The Irishman's Ramble: Or, Drunk at Night and Dry in the Morning. II. The Western Tragedy was printed in 1790 but I don't know where. Any info on the 1790 broadside?

In Scottish Ballad Poetry - Volume 3, 1893 - Page 227, George Eyre-Todd says: Motherwell in his Minstrelsy refers to other early copies entitled variously "The Western Tragedy" and "The Historical Ballad of May of Culzean."

Not aware of a broadside with this title. Anyone?

apparently it is Child D: (May Collin; False Sir John)

O HEARD ye of a bloody knight,
Lived in the south country?
For he has betrayed eight ladies fair
And drowned them in the sea.

Buchan has "west countrie" and a stall-copy lent to Child (D additions and corrections) by Mrs Alexander Forbes, Liberton, Edinburgh has:

Have ye not heard of fause Sir John,
Wha livd in the west country?

Anyone have a link to that stall-copy?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Origins: US version Child Ballads Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 08:16 AM

Here are two quotes by Motherwell and Child about Western Country:

Motherwell: A fuller set of this is given by Mr. Sharpe in his Ballad Book, taken from recitation ; but I have seen a printed stall copy as early as 1749, entitled "The Western Tragedy," which perfectly agrees with Mr. Sharpe's copy. I have also seen a later stall print, called "The Historical Ballad of May Culzean," to which is prefixed some local tradition that the lady there celebrated was of the family of Kennedy, and that her treacherous and murder-minting lover was an Ecclesiastick of the monastery of Maybole. In the parish of Ballantrae, on the sea coast, there is a frowning precipice pointed out to the traveller as "Fause Sir John's Loup." In the north country, at the Water of Ugie, I am informed by Mr. Buchan, there is a similar distinction claimed for some precipice there. The same gentleman has recovered other two ballads on a similar story?one called "The Water o' Wearie's well," and the other, from its burden, named "Aye as the gowans grow gay," in both of which the heroes appear to have belonged to the Elfin tribe.]

Child describes D in a footnote: "This ballad appears modern, from a great many expressions, but yet I am certain that it is old: the present copy came from the housekeeper at Methven." Note by Sharpe, in Laing's ed. of the Ballad Book, 1880, p. 130, xvii. Motherwell, in his Minstrelsy, p. lxx, n. 24, says that he had seen a stall ballad as early as 1749, entitled 'The Western Tragedy,' which perfectly agreed with Sharpe's copy. But in his Note-Book, p. 5 (about 1826-7), Motherwell says, "The best copy of May Colean with which I have met occurs in a stall copy printed about thirty years ago [should we then read 1799 instead of 1749?], under the title of 'The Western Tragedy.' I have subsequently seen a posterior reprint of this stall copy under this title, 'The Historical Ballad of May Collean.' In Mr. Sharpe's Ballad Book, the same copy, wanting only one stanza, is given."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 01:34 PM

As you would expect, Richie, I am highly suspicious of all these D variant references and would suggest they all stem directly from the stall copy 'The Western Tragedy'. The only copy I have references to is that one in Harvard which I have not seen. If the ballad was extant when Motherwell was around you would perhaps expect to have seen at least one copy in the NLS.

In Welsh and Tillinghast 2460 the full title is given as 'The Western Tragedy, The Ballad of May Collean and False Sir John'. I find it highly suspicious that no other copies seem to have survived. I would dearly love to have a copy to check it with the later suspicious variants. Certainly the later editors all have their hands tainted to some degree or other.

BTW you didn't respond to my last posting on 295.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 10:35 PM

Hi Steve,

I responded to 295 on that thread- no reason to go into that here.

It looks like I need to see if the Harvard Library will be able to track down their copy of "The Western Tragedy" which I assume is a shortened version (since there are 30 verses) of Child D. Since it was published in 1800 it was taken from an English copy from the 1700s which now may be lost.

I'm going through the ballads and cleaning up the mess from 3 years ago- plus adding versions- I've bought many of the books I didn't have then. Child 4 is huge and it will take some time to sort out.

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 01:58 PM

Fine, Richie.
If I can be of help I will. You're doing a magnificent job and deserve a medal!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 10:43 PM

TY


There's a US Child 4 version that was used as the title for a play in Three Acts by Abraham B. Shiffrin which debuted in 1951.

It's found at mudcat with tune as:

The Lonely Willow Tree

There was a youth, a cruel youth
Who dwelt beside the sea,
Six pretty maidens he murdered there
By the lonely willow tree.

Here's a report from the Denton Record-Chronicle; January 7, 1951:

"The Willow Tree" is set in Manhattan's Central Park and concerns a psychopathic murderer who strangles young women walking alone in the park. Despite a dragnet of detectives, the killer strikes again and again. Title of the play is derived from an old folk song which begins: "There was a youth, a cruel youth, who dwelt beside the sea. Six little maidens he murdered there, neath a lonely willow tree."

So where did this version first appear? It's not in Bronson- he must have known about it. It's all over the internet.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 11:14 AM

Is it possibly an adaptation for the play itself? I've just been listening to an American version recently recorded by some friends of mine which has similarities. I'll have a closer listen.

Other than that the only version I can find which borrows the first verse from 'The Bailiff's Daughter' is on the first page of Greenleaf and Mansfield but this version is in Bronson. Perhaps it is a Newfoundland version.

Your first verse could be a reduced version of that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 12:35 AM

Hi,

I think it was an adaptation of Child 4, probably written by Shiffrin himself, for his play. Originally titled The Twilight Walk, when the play was produced by Margo Jones in Dallas, the title was changed to "The Willow Tree."

This ballad adaptation would have been written in the late 1940s or early in 1950.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 04:12 PM

Hi,

I anyone would like to look these US/Canadian version over and see if any version are missing or if there are errors.

Child 1: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-1-riddles-widely-expounded.aspx

Child 2: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-2-the-elfin-knight.aspx

Child 3: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us-versions-fause-knight-upon-the-road-.aspx

I have all the extant traditional versions to Child 1 and 3 and am missing a couple of Child 2.

Any help is appreciated- I'm working on Child 4 now,

Rcihie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 03:01 PM

Hi,

US/Canada versions of Child 4 are finished with 212 versions (some are missing):

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us-and-canadian-versions.aspx

If there are versions that you know that are missing let me know or if you have texts for missing version - see bottom of the page- let me know.

If anyone has Edith E. Cutting's, Lore of an Adirondack County (1944) pp.61-64, I'm missing the text for version A (John Cutting) and have some of B.

TY Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 05:02 PM

Hi

Need help identifying Peggy seeger's ballad from Long Harvest, backed in a country style on guitar, here's a bit of it--

Earl Brand - Peggy Seeger Long Harvest

1    Rise up, rise up, you seven sleepers,
And do take a warning from me,
Do watch after your eldest sister,
The youngest is coming with me.

2    Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
And bring your sister down,
It'll never be said that a steward's son
Had carried her out of town.

3    I thank you kindly sir, said he,
But I am no steward's son,
My father was a regis king
And my mother a Quaker queen.

4    She mounted on the bonnie, bonnie black,
And him on the ample grey,
He hung his bugle all round her neck
And they went singing away.


And-- on the lighter side--Most inappropriate Child ballad title:

Sharp and Karpeles, 1932, Version I:

HE MOUNTED HER ON A MILK WHITE STEED

He mounted her on a milk white steed,
And himself on a iron grey.
He swung his bugle round his neck
And so went riding away,
He swung his bugle round his neck
And so went riding away.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 05:24 PM

Shades of The Good Ship Venus!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 05:45 PM

It's pretty close to Sharp's A version from N.C. but it could have been collated from the first few of Sharp's versions.

Personally I'm not keen on the title 'Earl Brand' being used for these more common ballads 'Lord Douglas's Tragedy'. Child lumps both ballads together as they are variants of the same story, but they have no text in common and are even in a different form. Nowadays we tend to say that 2 ballads with the same story but no text in common are different songs, e.g., 'Bramble Briar' and 'Merchant's Daughter and Constant Farmer's Son'.

It's quite possible that both ballads were separate translations of the foreign sources, rather than one being a reworking of the other.

It doesn't affect your website much except for the mismatched title as all the American variants are derived from LDT.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 08:40 PM

Hi,

Roud lumps "Lady and the Dragoon" and a few others.

Here are 62 Child 7 Earl Brand US/Canada versions, I'm missing about 5 versions (see bottom of page).

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us-and-canadian-versions-child-7-earl-brand.aspx

I'm be doing the Appendix next--Bold Soldier/Lady and the Dragoon versions.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 08 Apr 14 - 10:00 PM

Hi,

Randolph in his Ozark Kolksongs lumps "Valiant Soldier" with "New River Shore" versions. His C and D versions are White River Shore and Red versions.

I've followed Randolph realizing the association is tenuous at best. Here is the first extant version from 1864. I've taken the liberty to translate since it was "writ" by a rebel in the Civil War- haha:

"New River Shoor [sic]"

1. at the foot of yon Montain wher fountain do flow,
there is music to entertain me whar Plesent wind blow;
thare I spide a fair Damsel, a girl I adoar,
as she was a Walking on the new river Shoar.

2. I ask her rite kinley could She fancy Me,
all tho my fourtun is not grat that's noth She She,
your Beuty is a nonf (enough) and it is you I a doar,
an it is you I will Mary on the new river Shoar.

3. as soon as her old father, this same come too her,
he swear he Wood de Prive mee of my Deares Dear.
he Sent me a way Wher loud canon do roar,
an left my Dear trulove on the new river shoar.

4. She rote Me a letter an in this letter these lines,
and in this letter these Words you May find:
Come Back My dear dewell for it you I a doar,
an it is you I Will Mary on the new river Shoar.

5. I Prused this letter I Prused it monst Sad,
thare was non in that company culd Make My hart glad,
I drew out My Brawd Soard an onward did go,
to meet My dear tru love on the new river shoar.

6. as Son as her old father, tis same came to hear,
he Swar he wood de Prive Me of my derest der.
he rased him a army fooul twenty or Moar,
to fite a yong Soalger on the new river Shoar.

7. I Drew out My Brawd Soard an Waverd it round,
there is no yous, My little army, that you all kno,
to fight a yong Soalg on the new river Shoar.

8. So hard is the Coquest of all women kind,
they all Ways hav ruld, they all Ways confined;
they hav children to Squall an husban to scold,
Makes Many yong lases look Wethered and old.

-----------------

"New River Shore"- Landreth c. 1864 [transcribed Matteson]

1. At the foot of yon mountain where fountains do flow,
There is music to entertain me where pleasant winds blow;
There I spied a fair damsel, a girl I adore,
As she was a walking on the New River Shore.

2. I asked her right kindly could she fancy me,
Although my fortune is not great. "That's nothing," said she,[1]
"Your beauty is enough and it is you I adore,
And it is you I will marry on the New River Shore."

3. As soon as her old father, this same come to hear,
He swore he would deprive me of my dearest dear.
He sent me a way where loud cannons do roar,
And left my dear truelove on the New River Shore.

4. She wrote me a letter and in this letter these lines,
And in this letter these words you may find:
Come back my dear jewel for it you I adore,
And it is you I will marry on the New river Shore.

5. I pressed[2] this letter, I pressed it most sad,
There was none in that company could make my heart glad,
I drew out my broad sword an onward did go,
To meet my dear true love on the New River Shore.

6. As soon as her old father, this same came to hear,
He swore he wood deprive me of my dearest dear.
He raised him an army full twenty or more,
To fight a young soldier on the New River Shore.

7. I drew out my broad sword and wavered it round,
[Till twenty or more lay dead on the ground.] [3]
"There is no use, my little army, that you all know,
To fight a young soldier on the New River Shore."

8. So hard is the conquest of all women kind,
They've always been ruled, they're always confined;
They have children to school and a husband to scold,
Makes many young lasses look withered and old.

1. Should end with "she," the best solution: "That's nothing" said she.
2. pressed could mean "sealed" here.
3. The second line is missing here, so I filled it in using a modified traditional line (See: Brown Collection).

This version, titled "New River Shore" is taken from Frank Moore's Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents of the War: North and South: 1860-1865. In William Forse Scott's ‎1893 book, "The Story of a Cavalry Regiment," we find that Landreth, a rebel, fought in the Civil War for Shelby in Price's army: "It was found among papers lost by William H. Landreth, who was with Shelby in Price's army, in Missouri, in 1864."

Moore provided some details: "After the retreat of Shelby's force from Boonville, Mo. a small bundle of papers was picked up on the street, left there by some systematic and sentimental Confederate in his hasty flight First among this bundle was the log-book, containing a succinct diary of events, belonging to a rebel soldier. The leaves of the diary were composed of heavily ruled, coarse blue foolscap, and the cover made of wall-paper."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 08 Apr 14 - 10:06 PM

Hi,

My question is: Should "New River Shore" versions be considered part of Bronson's Child 7A: "The Lady and Dragoon" which is the "Bold Soldier"?

Although Randolph (and Art Thieme BTW) lump them, Bronson never mentions the connection- doesn't include New River Shore versions, Sharp found versions of both in the Appalachians and doesn't mention a connection, the Brown Collection also lists then separately and does not mention a connection.

What do you think??

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 04:00 PM

The easiest version to see the connection between the "Shore" ballads and "Bold Soldier" is Randolph C, text is below:

Lyr. Add: WHITE RIVER SHORE- Charles Ingenthron (Missouri) 1940, Randolph C

VERSE 1: At the foot of yonder mountain, where fountains they do flow
The valley was covered all over with snow
I courted a fair damsel for six months or more
And I gained her affections on the White River shore

VERSE 2: When her old father came this to know
He swore he would send me to the regions below
He gathered up an army of twenty men or more
For to fight for his daughter, on the White River shore

VERSE 3: The old man he rode to his daughter's side,
. . . . . . . .
Saying, "If this is your intention to be a soldier's wife,
[In yonders lonesome valley, I will quickly end your life."]

VERSE 4: Let's retreat, says the lady, for fear we be slain
Oh no, says the soldier, I see that's all in vain
He drew his sword and pistol and hung them by his side
He swore he would get married, it what might be tried

VERSE 5: The first one he came to, he pierced him through the main
The next one he came to, he pierced him just the same
Out of twenty, he killed seven and wounded six more
And he gained his dear darling on the White River shore.

VERSE 6: Let's retreat, says the ole man, for fear we'll be slain
To fight a gallant soldier boy, I see that's all in vain
Come hold your hand, bold soldier, the portion is to small
Come hold your hand, bold soldier, and you may have it all.

VERSE 7: She wrote me a letter concerning her mind,
In the midst of the letter these words I did find.
Come back to me Johnny, it's you I adore,
It's to you I'll get married on the White River shore.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 04:48 PM

Richie,
You're talking about an appendix of pieces that employ a small section of a Child ballad. If you feel it necessary to include these rewritten ballads like 'Masterpiece' that employ a motif from a Child ballad then you should include any further rewrites like 'White River Shore'. They are every bit as valid as 'Bold Dragoon'. They're only going into an appendix. No-one nowadays will see any of them as Child ballads. Just make it clear that these are appendix pieces (i.e., related, however tentatively) and therefore separate from full descendants.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 11:41 PM

Hi,

Nothing worse than a ruptured appendix. Or, you could say that the "New River Shore" is an appendix of an appendix-- and pass the scalpel please!

Yes, I'm grouping them- I was just wondering if there was a shift in recent opinion regarding the classification of New River Shore-- beginning perhaps with Randolph c. 1946.

TY Steve for your comment,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 11:51 PM

Here's a bit of the 1960 liner notes for Red River Shore. Notice that it jumps from Child 7, Earl Brand to Bold Soldier to a cowboy song, Red River Shore in the same short paragraph.

FOLKSONGS OF NORTH-AMERICA (p. 398, 399 and 54) by Alan Lomax, © Alan Lomax, 1960, Published by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, NY

He rode till he came in three miles of the place,
The he turned himself around,
And there he espied some seven iron men
Come hastening from the town

Get down, get down, Lady Margaret, he said,
And hold the bridle in your hand,
Till I turn back to yonder's green,
And fight them seven iron men . . .

These verses occur in an American forum of the ancient Anglo-Scandinavian ballad Hildebrand or Earl Brand, a tragic tale of bride capture. The Bold Soldier, a comic eighteenth century descendant of that ancient piece, gave rise to the present song which contains the basic plot of hundreds of western films -- the story of a poor, but honest cowpuncher who runs away with the rancher's of squatter's daughter. It also hints at the solution life provided for the conflict between the squatters and the ranchers that troubled the plains country for a generation.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 02:13 PM

Hi,

I'm reviewing what I started less than three years ago-- which is publishing on my site-- the extant traditional versions of the Child ballads.

So I'm reviewing and adding additional US/Canada texts. These questions however are questions about the Two Sister Child 10. Here's the first one:

Child's Version Y is from Rev. Parson's which was sent to Percy in 1770.

However it is missing a stanza and has one added at the end. Here's Child Y:

'There was a king lived in the North Country'- Version Y; Child 10- The Twa Sisters
Communicated to Percy, April 7. 1770, and April 19, 1775, by the Rev. P. Parsons, of Wye, near Ashford, Kent: "taken down from the mouth of the spinning-wheel, if I may be allowed the expression." [The second stanza given by Parsons is missing from Child's text. An additional stanza has been added at the end which is not in Parson's original. "River's" brim has been changed to "sea-side" brim.]

   * * * * *
1    There was a king lived in the North Country,
      Hey down down dery[1] down
There was a king lived in the North Country,
      And the bough it was bent to me
There was a king lived in the North Country,
And he had daughters one, two, three.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

* * * * *

2    He gave the eldest a gay gold ring,
      Hey down down dery down
He gave the eldest a gay gold ring,
      And the bough it was bent to me
He gave the eldest a gay gold ring,
But he gave the younger a better thing.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

3    He bought the younger a beaver hat;
      Hey down down dery down
He bought the younger a beaver hat;
      And the bough it was bent to me
He bought the younger a beaver hat;
The eldest she thought much of that.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

4    'Oh sister, oh sister, let us go run,
      Hey down down dery down
'Oh sister, oh sister, let us go run,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Oh sister, oh sister, let us go run,
To see the ships come sailing along!'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

5    And when they got to the sea-side brim,
      Hey down down dery down
And when they got to the sea-side brim,
      And the bough it was bent to me
And when they got to the sea-side brim,
The eldest pushed the younger in.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

6    'Oh sister, oh sister, lend me your hand,
      Hey down down dery down
'Oh sister, oh sister, lend me your hand,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Oh sister, oh sister, lend me your hand,
I'll make you heir of my house and land.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

7    'I'll neither lend you my hand nor my glove,
      Hey down down dery down
'I'll neither lend you my hand nor my glove,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'I'll neither lend you my hand nor my glove,
Unless you grant me your true-love.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

8    Then down she sunk and away she swam,
      Hey down down dery down
Then down she sunk and away she swam,
      And the bough it was bent to me
Then down she sunk and away she swam,
Untill she came to the miller's mill-dam.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

9    The miller's daughter sat at the mill-door,
      Hey down down dery down
The miller's daughter sat at the mill-door,
      And the bough it was bent to me
The miller's daughter sat at the mill-door,
As fair as never was seen before.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

10    'Oh father, oh father, there swims a swan,
      Hey down down dery down
'Oh father, oh father, there swims a swan,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Oh father, oh father, there swims a swan,
Or else the body of a dead woman.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

11    The miller he ran with his fishing hook,
      Hey down down dery down
The miller he ran with his fishing hook,
      And the bough it was bent to me
The miller he ran with his fishing hook,
To pull the fair maid out o the brook.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

12    'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      Hey down down dery down
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
For drowning of my sister Kate.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

After stanza one are some asterisks- this is where the missing verse is left off (Verse 2 as sent by Parsons):

2 The Eldest she had a Sweetheart came
Hey down &c
The Eldest &c
And the Bough &c
The Eldest &c
But he had a mind for the younger dame
I'll prove true &c

This verse is important in establishing a motive for the murder. But why was it left off?


The last verse was added on:

12    'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      Hey down down dery down
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
For drowning of my sister Kate.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

It makes no sense really because the stanza before it is missing- about the miller taking the rings and pushing her back it. Where did this stanza come from? It's not in Parsons first letter to Percy, which I have a copy?

and lastly- the second line Parson's has spelled "derry" yet it's written "dery." Isn't 'dery' wrong?

and lastly stanza 5 has "seaside" crossed out and "river's" written above it- why would Child assume to know which one and why wouldn't it be notes?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 02:22 PM

Child 10- Two Sisters, Child U from US

Version U, a fragment sent from Newell, has mis-heard word at the end of the first stanza "mist." This may have been sung or it was simply misheard by the transcriber, however it should be and is (in all other versions) "west" which rhymes with "best."


1    There was a man lived in the mist,[west]
      Bow down, bow down
He loved his youngest daughter best.
      The bow is bent to me,
      So you be true to your own true love,
      And I'll be true to thee.

Should this have been mentioned by Child or Kittredge (assuming they realized it) or should I add this as a footnote- which I have already done?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 02:33 PM

I haven't any access to Percy's manuscripts, but Child may well have had access via a correspondent as he had people like Furnivall checking on such things for him.

As you must be aware Child did make mistakes occasionally and he did take a FEW liberties in altering words to either standardise or make better sense which in his day even was standard editorial practice. (See David Atkinson's new online book). With any mammoth gathering and editing like this there are bound to be some inconsistencies.

I would expect 'dery' in a ms to be corrected to 'derry' as this is a very common refrain word in printed balladry, but if Child or anyone wanted to retain what was in an original copy this would be nowadays desirable.

If Parsons was just taking down what was actually sung at the time (1770) it may well be that the singer accidentally missed out the second verse and if Parsons wasn't familiar with the ballad then he didn't realise until Percy pointed the error out to him which would explain the extra verse being sent later.

As for Child's repeating the error it could well be that the same process happened between his transcriber and his receipt of the variants, i.e., his transcriber sent Child the 1770 version.

In many cases Child was at the mercy of transcribers in Scotland and England so any errors are not necessarily his.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 02:36 PM

Two more Child 10 questions

In BFSSNE Barry (The Two Sisters: Prolegomena to a Critical Study, 1931) has labeled additional Child versions (past version Z) such as Child DD (Child MSS., XVIII, 20, from Co. Meath, Ireland) and Child EE (Cunningham, Songs of Scotland, II, 109, one stanza, ESPB., I, 119).

What are version AA, BB, and CC? Since Barry went to Harvard I'm sure he was acquainted with Child's lettering for each ballad- is there an acknowledged system for lettering the additional ballads from later editions?

Lastly where can I get a copy of Paul Brewster's study of the Two Sisters?---

Paul G Brewster 'The Two Sisters' Folklore Fellows Communication #147, Helsinki, 1953.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 02:55 PM

Hi Steve,

You actually have a copy of Parson's letter to Percy (part of the Percy Papers)- supplied by Susan Lepak, who I go my copies, and Child got his copy before 1886 but after the first volume was published.

It does make sense to publish the original MS on my site- but I haven't yet,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 05:41 PM

Richie: "Here's Child Y:"

In Volume 1 (of the Dover edition) the versions go only as far as version U. There are additions and corrections in subsequent volumes, but I can't find a version Y anywhere. What am I missing?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 06:10 PM

child did not have the Percy papers until after the first edition came out, which had versions A-U.

In Additions and Corrections:

Add:   V. 'Benorie,' Campbell Manuscripts, II, 88.
       W. 'Norham, down by Norham,' communicated by Mr. Thomas Lugton, of Kelso.
       X. 'Binnorie,' Dr. Joseph Robertson's Note-Book, January 1, 1830, p. 7, one stanza.
       Y. Communicated to Percy by Rev. P. Parsons, April 7, 1770.

Then later Z was added.

Barry however, had AA-EE, five additional versions- one of which came from Ireland by way of the US (Iowa) which has not been published. I was trying see what versions Barry said AA-CC were.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 06:57 PM

Hi,

I reviewed all of Parson's letters to Percy, and Child's version Y is the second version given (1775). Both versions are in Parson's hand, whereas some versions Parson's sent to Percy are in a different hand (a copyist). Child does not mention the differences between the two versions. Parson's wrote "imperfect" on the version Child used.

Mystery solved for one of my questions,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Apr 14 - 03:22 PM

Sorry about the slip, Richie. My memory isn't too good. I knew I had some Parsons stuff that Susan sent but hadn't remembered it was for this ballad.

As for Barry's continuation of Child's lettering, he was probably trying to establish his own continuation. This would have been made redundant when Bronson came along with his new system.

Parsons' material in other hands. I had assumed that these were the handwriting of the contributor, or at least some of them were.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 21 Apr 14 - 09:10 PM

Hi,

Both versions of Child Y are in Parson's hand and Child looked at both, (since he provided two dates) however it is not acceptable, in my opinion, to decide with version to use and not include information about the other.

I'm sharing what I believe to be the best US version which is taken from Nora Hicks or the famous Hicks family in North Carolina. The details are on my site:http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-two-sisters--hicks-nc-pre1939-walkerabrams.aspx This is an ancient version that rivals the early British versions:

The Two Sisters, Variant 1- sung by Mrs. Nora Hicks. It was copied down by Addie Hicks and given to me by Edith Walker ( W. G. G.). Gilly slaver is "Gillyflower." Some minor editing.


1. There was two sisters loved one man,
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry [1]
The youngest one he loved first,
Till the jury[2] hangs over the roseberry.

2. As they were walking by the brook,
Gilley slaver gent the Rose berry
The old one pushed the young one in
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

3. Sister sister give me your hand,
Gilley slaver gent the Roseberry
And you may have all my land
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

4. Sister, Sister give me your glove
Gilley Slaver gent the Rose berry
And you may have the one I love
Till the jury hangs over the Roseberry.

5. She floated up she floated down
Gilley Slaver gent the roseberry,
She floated in to the miller's pond,
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

6. Out run the miller with his long hook,
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry
He drew this fair woman out of the brook,
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

7. It ain't a fish nor it ain't a swan
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry
He picked her up and threw her back,
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

8. She floated up and she floated down
Gilley slaver gent the Rose berry
She floated in to the harper's pound
Till the jury hangs over the Rose Berry

9. Out run the harper with his long hook
Gilley slaver gent the Rose berry
He drew this fair woman out at the brook
Till the jury hangs over the Rose berry.

10. It ain't a fish nor it ain't a swan,
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry
It is a fair woman in my pond,
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

11. What will we make out of her breast bone so fine,
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry?
We will make us a new fiddle to play on
All the jury hangs over the roseberry.

12. What will we make out of her fingers so small
Gilley flower gent the Roseberry?
We will make us some new screws to play on
Till the jurry hangs over the Rose

13. What will we make out of her hair so long
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry?
we will make us some new strings to play on
Till the jury hangs over the Rose berry.

14. Up then spoke the first string,
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry
Was my sister that pushed me in,
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

15. Up then spoke the next string
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry
It was the miller who threw me back
Till the jury hangs over the Roseberry.

16. The miller was hung on the gallows so high
Gilley slaver gent the roseberry
The sister was burnt at a stake there by,
Till the jury hangs over the roseberry.

1. written "Rose berry," probably was at one point "rosemary."
2. written "jurry."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 11:29 AM

What evidence is there that Child actually looked at both versions himself as opposed to someone doing this on his behalf? Child spent very little time in England.

I like the harper making a fiddle even though it confuses 2 traditions.

It is quite close to my own composite version which uses the 'high down derry' sequence of refrains. In my local version the miller makes the fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 08:51 PM

Hi Steve,

Child did not look at it until it was purchased by Harvard, which is now where it is and Susan made a copy for you from the Harvard Library. So he looked at it when it was at Harvard.

I came across a version Davis (More Traditional Ballads) AA which I believe to be a recreation. So I'm posting the info and ballads here. It's also on my web-site: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-fair-sisters--smiths-va-1844-davis-aa.aspx

[From Davis, More Traditional Ballad of Virginia, 1960. My notes follow:

Thomas P. Smith, the informant, collected songs and ballads for the Brown Collection when he lived in Zionville, NC from about 1914 onward. Some 20 years later he "contributed" this version to Kyle Davis Jr. By then Smith had moved to Palmyra, Virginia within Davis' collecting region. Smith is well aware of the Child ballads and I'm sure had access to or had a copy of Child's ESPB. Several of the Smith's contributions are of questionable authenticity and in my opinion this version is a recreation. Davis, I'm sure was aware of the Smith's questionable contributions and excluded at least one and noted others. There's no way to tell for certain, but after studying hundreds of texts its clear that this has too many unusual (i.e. not traditional) textual passages and short phrases to be accepted by me as traditional- even the title is exceptional- The Fair Sisters- not found in any other title. Stanza 2 (but he dearly loved the youngest one), stanza 4 (silken dress), stanza 8, stanza 10, stanza 11, the last stanzas seem copied from Child B with minor changes. This was sent in to Davis without corroboration and was not recorded.

Another, and most important, determining factor is: If Smith had this ballad in 1914- why didn't he give it to Brown and the Brown Collection- since he was eager to contribute everything he had? After checking, there is a MS in the Abrams collection (no name) that is identical with some rewritten parts to Smith's- only this version was poorly rewritten- because it kept too much of Child B to be viewed as authentic. "Bow down once to me" is the Smith's second refrain- the problem is- there are no other versions with this refrain, so the Abrams MS "Twa Sisters- Variant 5," also came from Thomas P. Smith. It's too great a coincidence to be otherwise.

Here's the first stanza of Abrams MS, variant 5:

1. There was a king lived in the West
Bow down, Bow down
There was a king lived in the West
Bow once to me
There was a king lived in the West
He had two daughters of the best
I will be true, true to my love
And my love will be true to me.

It's identical to Davis AA and no other version. Now look at the last stanza of Abrams MS where Smith copied Child B too carefully:

15. The lasten tune that he playd then
Bow down, bow down
The lasten tune that he playd then
Bow once to me
The lasten tune that he playd then
Was, 'Woe to my sister, fair El-len,
For I will be true, true to my love
An my love will be true to me.

Compare it now to that last stanza of Davis AA. Clearly Abrams and probably Brown editors rejected this as being an adaptation of Child B since that stanza Child B begins identically: "The lasten tune that he playd then," --clearly this is a direct copy and not traditional. The Smith's at least changed it somewhat (see last stanza below) so it wouldn't be so obvious to Davis.

Davis, and I'm sure Thomas P. Smith, were well aware that US versions with the "resuscitation ritual" (Barry 1930s) are very rare. Since Davis had not collected this rare version he accepted the Smith's offering- caveat emptor! The ballad is added to my collection with these qualifying notes.

R. Matteson 2014]



AA. "The Fair Sisters." Contributed by R. E. Lee Smith, of 'Palmyra, Va., by his brother, Thomas P. Smith, of Palmyra, and himself. They learned it from the singing of their father, Bennet Smith, who "learned it over seventy years ago from Cox Ladier, Fluvanna County. February, 1914. The refrain lines are repeated because they show some variation from stanza to stanza.

1 There was a king lived in the west,
Bow down, bow down,
There was a king lived in the west,
Bow down once to me,
There was a king lived in the west,
He had two daughters of the best.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

2 A brave knight courted the eldest one,
Bow down, bow down,
[A brave knight courted the eldest one,
Bow down once to me,][1]
The knight courted the eldest one,
But he dearly loved the youngest one.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

3. He gave the youngest a fine gold ring,
Bow down, bow down,
He gave the youngest a fine gold ring,
Bow once to me,
He gave the youngest a fine gold ring,
And to the eldest he gave not a thing.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

4. He gave the youngest a silken dress,
Bow down, bow down,
He gave the youngest a silken dress,
Bow once to me,
[He gave the youngest a silken dress,][1]
The eldest got mad at that.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

5 One day as they walked by the riverside,
Bow down, bow down,
One day as they walked by the riverside,
Bow once more to me,
One day as they walked by the riverside,
[The eldest she pushed the youngest in.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.][1]

6 The eldest she pushed the youngest in,
Bow down, bow down,
The eldest she pushed the youngest in,
Bow once to me,
The eldest she pushed the youngest in,
The youngest said it was a sin.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

7 She swam till she came to the miller's pond,
Bow down, bow down,
She swam till she came to the miller's pond,
Bow once to me,
She swam till she came to the miller's pond,
And there she swam all round and round,
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

8. Out came the miller's son,
Bow down, bow down,
Out came the miller's son,
Bow once to me,
Out came the miller's son,
And saw the fair maid swimmin' in,
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

9. "O father, father, draw your dam,"
Bow down, bow down,
"Oh father, father, draw your dam,"
Bow once to me,
"Oh father, father, draw your dam,
There's either a merimaid or a swan."
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me."

10. The miller quickly drawed the dam,
Bow down, bow down,
The miller quickly drawed the dam,
Bow once to me,
The miller quickly drawed the dam,
And there he found a dead maid within.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

11. And by there came a harper fine,
Bow down, bow down,
And by there came a harper fine,
Bow once to me,
And by there came a harper fine,
That harper to this king to dine.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

12. He took three locks off her yellow hair,
Bow down, bow down,
He took three locks off her yellow hair,
Bow once to me,
He took three locks off her yellow hair,
And with them strung his harp so fair.
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

13. The first tune he plays and sings,
Bow down, bow down,
The first tune he plays and sings,
Bow once more to me,
The first tune he plays and sings,
"Alas, farewell, my father the king."
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

14. The next in that he played soon,
Bow down, bow down,
The next in that he played soon,
Bow once more to me,
The next in that he played soon,
"Alas, farewell to my mother the queen."
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.

15. The last tune he played them,
Bow down, bow down,
The last tune he played them,
Bow once to me,
Was, "Woe to my sister fair Elinder."
I will be true to my love,
And my love will be true to me.


1.These lines are lacking in the Ms.and have been supplied by the editor.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 12:48 PM

This is off the top of my head: I have long been suspicious of any of their offerings as being rewritten from Child's published versions. I do believe there are some Smith ballads that are unique to them in American tradition. However they are part of a long and illustrious tradition occurring in all English-speaking countries which almost rivals, at times, the oral tradition.

Apart from this I'm sure I've seen references by other editors of their suspicions of the Smith material.

I would even go back, if I were you, and put riders on all of the Smith brothers' contributions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 09:48 PM

At one time the Smiths had the only US version of King Orfeo, they spelled it King Orpheo and Kyle Davis Jr. after much deliberation finally decided it was a version of Whummil Bore, but not before he announced he had collected the only US version of King Orpheo--

You think Davis would have learned but it's important to realize that collectors also wanted to publish rare versions- even if they suspected they were fake--

Just as performers of traditional music were expected to exceed their repertoire by producing new music, new CDs etc- of course to do this they got the music from other versions and changed it- attributing it to traditional sources.

R-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 08:16 AM

Ans since I'm finishing the "Two Sisters" here's another version that was recreated, rather clumsily at the end. The reason- to include the ending found in Child A-L called the "resuscitation-ritual" where the dead girl's body and hair are made into an instrument that reveals her sister is the murderer. In the US there are only two extant complete versions outside of the "wind and rain" versions, of which there are only a few traditional versions.

In this ballad, "The Sister's Murder" Patrick Gainer had recreated the last two two verses onto an apparent traditional version:

1. There lived an old woman down by the sea shore,
Bow down, bow down.
There lived an old woman down by the sea shore,
Bow and balance to me.
There lived an old woman down by the sea shore,
And she had daughters three of four,
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

2. A young man came a-courting,
Bow down, bow down.
A young man came a-courting,
Bow and balance to me.
A young man came a-courting,
And he made love to the youngest fair,
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

3. He bought the youngest a fine fur hat,
Bow down, bow down.
He bought the youngest a fine fur hat,
Bow and balance to me.
He bought the youngest a fine fur hat,
And the eldest she didn't like that,
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

4 "A sister, O sister, let's walk by the shore,"
Bow down, bow down.
"O sister, O sister, let's walk by the shore,
Bow and balance to me€.
"O sister, O sister, let's walk by the shore
And see the ships come sailing o'er."
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me."

5 As they were walking along the sea brim,
Bow down, bow down.
As they were walking along the sea brim,
Bow and balance to me.
As they were walking along the sea brim,
The oldest pushed the youngest in.
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

6 "O sister, O sister, please lend me your hand,"
Bow down, bow down,
O sister, O sister, please lend me your hand."
Bow and balance to me.
"O sister, O sister, please lend me your hand,
And I will give you my house and land,"
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

7 "I'll give you neither my hand nor my glove,"
Bow down, bow down.
"I'll give you neither my hand nor my glove,"
Bow and balance to me.
"I'll give you neither my hand nor my glove
For all I want is your own true love."
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.


8 And when they found the young girl fair,[1]
Bow down, bow down,
And when they found the young girl fair,
Bow and balance to me,
And when they found the young girl fair,
They made a fiddle bow from her golden hair,
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

9 And when on the fiddle the music did sound,
Bow down, bow down,
And when on the fiddle the music did sound,
Bow and balance to me,
And when on the fiddle the music did sound,
It cried, "By my sister I was drowned,"
Oh I'll be true to my love,
If my love will be true to me.

[Not usually a local title- surely from Patrick Gainer. You can hear Gainer sing this on West Virginia University's online site recorded in late 1960s, it was published in Singa Hypsy Doodle 1971, and from "Folk Songs from the West Virginia Hills (1975).

In the late 1960s when Marie Boette began preparing her book, Singa Hypsy Doodle (published in 1971), she asked Gainer to include some songs from his collection. One of the ballads he gave her was "The Two Sisters" that Gainer said was "Sung by Mrs. Lou Pritt of Gilmer County."

However in his book, "Folk Songs from the West Virginia Hills," (1975), the exact same version (above) was purported to be by Jack Hamrick of Webster County. The ending is so rare that it has only been found in a handful of versions. No only that but the ending is written in a clumsy way not found in tradition. Clearly this is some traditional version with the last two verses recreated by Gainer.

There are simply no versions from the US that resemble Gainer's last two verses, which contain what Barry calls the "resuscitation- ritual" found in Child A-L (an instrument is fashioned from the hair and body of the murdered sister). Evidently Gainer wanted to have these rare verses in his version. I have no problem with the recreation- it just needs to be stated, instead of implying a traditional source. Unfortunately like Niles, Gainer began working recreating or assisting wit the recreation of ballads when he began collecting with Carey Woofter in the 1920s, creating a shadow of suspicion some on the Combs collection (Wilgus). Gainer's lack of scholarship is evident when he changes informants for the same text and published both versions within a period of 4 years!! To his credit, he did change the title.

Gainer is a talented singer and a knowledgeable collector, who never had any boundaries. He lost his father when he was one, and was raised on a farm by his grandfather, F.C. Gainer, who knew some traditional ballads and songs. But even his grandfather has been drawn into this ballad! A version, "The Miller's Two Daughters" was collected by Carey Woofter (c. 1924 when Gainer and Woofter were students at West Virginia University) purportedly from F. C. Gainer and is in the Combs collection (never published- and I don't have access). So Patrick Gainer knew Woofter collected this ballad that was attributed to his grandfather- but never mentions it and doesn't try to republish it or talk about it online.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 08:43 AM

By the way Steve Gardham-- Gainer also had the only version of Child 295 in the US that mentions "the brown girl" in the text. You wrote about that version in your article on Child 295 ( I have not read the article just have quotes from it).

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Brian Peters
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 09:26 AM

Richie,
Thanks for sharing all this, and particularly the Nora Hicks version above. I'm curious about that - obviously it looks a lot like Lee Monroe Presnell's (is there no tune for Nora Hicks') but, although LMP's is shorter, it doesn't look like a vestige of the longer ballad, since there are one or two different stanzas, and it retains 'William' as the lover's name, like the older Socts versions.

It's also very unusual to have the 'resuscitation ritual' place the blame on the miller, rather than the sister. Are you satisfied that the Nora Hicks version is authentic?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 09:41 AM

Yes, I remember there was one version but I hadn't registered that Gainer was involved, and at the time I wasn't aware of the problems surrounding Gainer's work. I had assumed that what had happened was that an earlier collector, perhaps Sharp who was in the same area, had visited the singer or her informant and told her erroneously she was singing a version of 'The Brown Girl'. And like all obliging source singers she immediately incorporated a Brown Girl into her version of Sally and Billy. As a collector myself I have come across similar instances.

Now we have the absolute proof online that 295B is a forgery my paper is somewhat redundant, but I can look at the possibility of sending you a copy if it's of any use. In the original paper I presented probable motives for Baring Gould's sending Child these concoctions, but rightly or wrongly the editors decided to cut this.

Wearing my hat as a singer my version of TS is always in flux. It is based on the Driffield version from closest to where I live but is made up of all the bits I've picked up over the years orally. It does include the body parts/fiddle resuscitation-ritual.

Here's my first verse

There was an old man in the north country
Hi down derry down dee
There was an old man in the north country
Valid we ought to be
There was an old man in the north country
And he had daughters one, two and three
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me.

With all of this repetition and chorus it's very easy to make up the rest as you go along.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 11:44 AM

Steve, I'll defer to you and Richie on this one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 12:20 PM

Steve- I would like a copy of the paper, since I quote you. If you have time email it to me.

It's likely Gainer added the "brown girl" text from 295B and changed it- it's part version of "Billy and Sally" or "The Rich Irish Lady."

This sort of thing has been going on for a while- Child often wondered how Peter Buchan always seemed to have ballads that were several stanzas longer than any other.

It's unfortunate but in the US there seem to be certain obvious examples . The most obvious is the talented singer and collector John Jacob Niles- who a least was good at recreating ballads. Since he was an avid collector, it's impossible to know the real from the recreation in many cases.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 01:52 PM

We have the same problems with MacColl and Lloyd but in most cases it's now possible to sort out their scholarly stuff from their creative abilities. Unfortunately in the case of MacColl Bronson didn't know this.

One would think that scholars would at least be suspicious when a version of a ballad suddenly surfaces in oral tradition after 150 or more years of hibernation, but just call me superskeptic!

Will try to hunt out the original paper but if not I'll try to scan from the book.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 04:20 PM

Couldn't find the original so I've sent a scan of the book version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 11:44 AM

Hi,

Here are 150 versions of Twa Sisters US/Canada: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us-and-canadian-versions-child-10-twa-sisters.aspx

My commentary is longer than usual. There are a few more (maybe a dozen) many of which I will eventually track down.

Steve, ty for sending your article. MacColl conveniently had his father to fall back on when he needed more "traditional" material.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 07 May 14 - 09:58 PM

Brian- I didn't see your post- yes I'm satisfied the Nora Hicks version is authentic. She has several recording (Abrams collection) but not this one. You're on your own as far as the melody.

I'm working on US version of Lord Randal now- and I saw you covered the Case version (Missouri) but left off two verses, I was just wondering about it. Also what date was that learned by Case from her family? Could you figure that out.

I wrote a comic bit on "Lord Randal" at the beginning of the Child section here:

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/12-lord-randal.aspx

Not sure if I got the dialect- just flew of the top of my head.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 May 14 - 11:04 PM

For the superfluous third sister in some versions, cf. King Lear. I suggest tying up that loose end:

The middle sister went off with the prince,
And neither of them has been heard of since.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 May 14 - 06:08 PM

Neat, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 13 May 14 - 11:38 AM

Hi,

After thinking about it I'm convinced that child A is not traditional, i.e. it's not taken from a traditional singer but is in fact two versions sewn together.

In stanza 6. the repeated last line changes to: "For I'm sick at the heart," whereas the first 5 stanzas it was "For I'm wearied wi huntin,". In my experience a singer will not change a refrain after 5 stanzas and then keep it changed-- it simple doesn't happen. Since there is no documentation about the source of A and it's in a "later hand" it appears that it's not traditional, it's two two versions sewn together.

There's a version from the WPA collection in Virginia that is a copy of child A and not traditional. Apparently the collector Hylton was not familiar with Child A- but the reason I noted it was a copy was that in Stanza 6 the last line changed --just as in Child A-- showing definitively that it was a copy.

This alerted me to the apparent combining two versions in Child A.

I have two questions- any info about the French-Canadian versions of Lord Randal (sung in French)? Any texts?


Is the Croodin Doo traditional in the US?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 15 May 14 - 05:51 PM

There are two distinct french version in the US. The largest group is the Arcadian in Canada. According to Robert Paquin:

French versions of 'Lord Randal' were collected on the Atlantic coast of Canada, despite the fact that this song is unknown in France. In French, the song is called 'Le Testament du gargon empoisonné.' Marius Barbeau collected three versions in 1923, Dominique Gauthier, one in 1953, and another was collected by the periodical La Voix d'Evangiline and is part of the J. T. LeBlanc collection.[9] Quite recently, Robert Bouthillier and Vivian Labrie have obtained thirteen more versions.[10] Versions of the Barbeau collection proceed from Port Daniel, county Bonaventure in Quebec, while the Gauthier and Leblanc texts proceed from New Brunswick, the former from Evangeline county Gloucester, and the latter from Saint-Antoine county Kent. The Bouthillier-Labrie collection, on the other hand, proceeds entirely from either county Gloucester or Northumberland, in New Brunswick. In short, all versions of 'Le testament du garqon empoisonné' come from that region which, under the French regime, constituted 'Acadie' and is still known under that name by French speakers.

I only have one version of this group. Anyone know where I can find more?

The other French variant(s) are from Louisiana, which apparently come from a translation of Child D (Scott-1803) which was taught school children in 1855. one of apparently two versions was published by Beck in 1964 titled, Seigneur Randal. Anyone have that version?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 15 May 14 - 06:52 PM

Here is the first verse of a version collected in 1976.

LE TESTAMENT DU GARCON EMPOISONNE - Sung by M. Onsime Brideau and his wife Alvina (nee Saint-Pierre), respectively 63 and 53 years old; Saint-Ime, county Gloucester, N.B., summer 1976.

1. Oiiss' t'as 'te hier au soir, Honoré mon enfant?
Oiiss' t'as 'te hier au soir, dit'-moi mon cher enfant?
J'ai 'te courter les fill', maman rangez mon lit
Car j'ai grand mal au coeur, je veux aller me coucher

I've translated the verse:

Where did you go last night Honoré my child
Where did you go last night, my dear child?
I went to see maidens, Mother please make my bed
Cause I feel sick and I want to lie down.

There a similar but different version in 1978 by Gabriel Yacoub, the leader of Malicorne, titled "Honoré mon Enfant." Another version apparently translating Yacoub's text is done by Stone Circle on the CD Alchemy.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 15 May 14 - 07:54 PM

Hi,

I've put most of the US/Canada versions of Lord Randal on my site now:http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canadian-versions-child-12-lord-randal.aspx

Not sure if the Josh White version is traditional (it's on the front page at bottom along with a few other versions)- I'll probably include it.

Comment- suggestions are welcome- also let me know if there are missing versions. I'll show you what I have for Gabriel Yacoub's version below- I've translated it some- the on-line source I got the French text from is poor and I don't have the recording.

Richie

Honoré mon enfant [the text is from an on-line site and is lacking]
by GABRIEL YACOUB . Trad./Arr. (Gr. L. SIF-3035) GLT. The leader of Malicorne. 1978 [source?]

où t'as été hier au soir honoré mon enfant? [repeat]
[Where are you going, Honore my Child?]
j'ai été voir les filles, maman faisez mon lit
car j'ai grand mal au c?ur je veux aller me coucher

mais où sont tes deux chiens honoré mon enfant ?
[Where are your two dogs Honore my child?]
sont morts après souper
[They died after supper]

mais qu'as-tu donc mangé honoré mon enfant ?
[What did you eat Honore mu child?
un p' tit poisson salé
[I ate a small fish]

que laisseras-tu à ton père honoré mon enfant ?
ma terre et ma maison

que laisseras-tu à ta mère honoré mon enfant ?
[What will you leave your mother my child]
mon or et mon argent
[my gold and my silver]

que laisseras-tu à ton frère honoré mon enfant ?
ma selle et mon cheval ma montre et mes souliers

que laisseras-tu à ta soeur honoré mon enfant ?
mon violon, mon archet

que laisseras-tu à ta belle honoré mon enfant ?
[What will you leave your lover, Honore
je lui laisserai la mer pour aller s'y noyer
[I'll leave her the ocean to drown herself in]
elle l'a bien mérité c'est elle qui m'a empoisonné
[For it was her that poisoned me.]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 14 - 10:45 PM

There is a much moe colloquial version of the tale of the single soldier battling seven men to win his maiden's hand from an overbearing father. It was recorded by Burl Ives under the title The Bold Soldier.

But I suppose this is known already and am mentioning it just in case.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 16 May 14 - 08:18 PM

Hi Amos,

I have the Ives version title Bold Soldier, dated c. 1940 here:http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/bold-soldier--blind-street-singer-il-c1940-ives.aspx

He claimed to have learned it from a blind street musician. I categorize the ballad as an appendix to Child 7, Earl Brand. I have about 70 US versions on my site of "The Bold Soldier" and related ballads.

R-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 01 Nov 14 - 01:37 PM

Hi,

Just an update, just finished completing 135 US and Canadian versions of Lord Bateman with some detailed notes: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-53-young-beichan.aspx

If anyone has an additional version let me know.

The name of a city/region Sentapee has been found in three versions. Anyone have an idea about that?

Oh, he sailed east and he sailed west
Until he came to Sentapee
And he was taken and cast in irons
Until his life was quite weary.

I've finished putting all the text and notes for US/Canada version up to Child 53 now,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 14 - 01:58 PM

Well done, Richie! Keep battling on with this important work.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 01 Nov 14 - 02:35 PM

Steve,

Since you're around- I consider you an expert on broadsides. What is the earliest English Broadside. Child L is the broadside text- he lists Pitts (Additions and Corrections) and later Catnach. I found one printed by Johnson about 1815.

What is the earliest broadside?

TY

R-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 14 - 06:50 PM

Are we talking 53?

If so the earliest I have is Robertson, Glasgow, dated 1805, although Randal of Stirling's copy may predate this. I feel certain there must have been earlier printings though.

Your side Nathaniel Coverley of Boston printed a version not much later.

The Young Baker variant was printed by Butler of Worcester who spanned the turn of the century.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Richie
Date: 01 Nov 14 - 09:56 PM

Hi,

Steve--Do you have a copy of "Young Baker" or Randal or Robertson? I'd appreciate it if you could email me.

BTW Barry prints the Harris Broadside (Boston- Rhode Island) dated c. 1790. I have the text on my site.

Do any of the English/Scottish broadsides have India (instead of Turkey) or "Susannah fair" (instead of Sophia)?

The ones I've seen at Bodelian are all Child L.

TY

R-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Nov 14 - 11:44 AM

Will do!


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