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Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide

Tradsinger 10 Sep 14 - 06:57 PM
Dennis the Elder 10 Sep 14 - 07:15 PM
Lighter 10 Sep 14 - 07:52 PM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 14 - 12:48 AM
Reinhard 11 Sep 14 - 03:02 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 14 - 03:47 AM
Tradsinger 11 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM
Felipa 11 Sep 14 - 05:00 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Sep 14 - 03:53 PM
Tradsinger 12 Sep 14 - 02:52 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 14 - 09:09 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Sep 14 - 12:44 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Sep 14 - 02:07 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 14 - 02:59 PM
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Subject: Can you identify this song?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 06:57 PM

Cecil Sharp collected a fragment of a song from William Bayliss of Buckland, Gloucestershire, which he identified, wrongly in my opinion, as "Binorie" (or "The Two Sisters"), but it seems to me that it is a part of a different song. The words are

"One day as Johnny was walking down by the river side,
He saw his maid come floating, come floating down the tide"

So what song is that from? Grateful for any responses.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song?
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 07:15 PM

Is it anything to do with Pretty Polly?


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song?
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 07:52 PM

Could be related to "Three Dukes Went a-Fishing."


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 12:48 AM

We have Six Dukes Went a-Fishing, which has a royal duke floating down the tide.


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Reinhard
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 03:02 AM

The Waxweed Girl (of the Roud 263 Oxford Girl / Prentice Boy family) has Johnny murdering his love and her being found floating:

5. Her falling to her bended knees
Have mercy, she did cry
O, Johnny dear, don't murder me
I'm not prepared to die

...

12. It was early next morning
The Waxweed girl was found
A floating down the river
That flowed to Waxweed town


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 03:47 AM

Likewise Harry Cox's version, Ekefield Town: "And it was a few days afterward, this pretty young girl was found, A-floating down the river where it flows through Ekefield Town".

But these don't seem to me quite to relate to the OP Tradsinger's fragment, which seems to be about a young man unexpectedly coming across his girlfriend's drowned corpse; whereas in the Oxford Town-Prentice Boy-Waxweed/Ekefield variants, it is the protagonist himself who has murdered her to avoid having to fulfil a promise to marry her.

Still, I agree with Tradsinger that it doesn't seem quite to relate to Binnorie either, and am as intrigued as he to find whence it does derive.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Tradsinger
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM

Hi y'all,

I think I have found it. It's Roud 1414, variously called Molly/Mary and William, Floating down the Tide, In Cambridge Town. The Full English has various versions. The story is boy courts girl, girl gets pregnant and drowns herself. It has elements of The Oxford Girl and The Old Riverside, but appears to be a separate song. My thanks to the above contributors for their interest.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 05:00 AM

similar to Banks of the Ohio?


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 03:53 PM

Hi Gwilym,
Yes quite scarce song in publications. Its closest relative appears to be The Distressed Maid Roud 564 which it shares some verses with. My Master Title is 'False-hearted William' but it could easily have been any of a dozen others. It never turns up with the same title twice. It is quite widespread if scarce, and there are broadsides, one called The Dublin Tragedy.


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Tradsinger
Date: 12 Sep 14 - 02:52 AM

Thanks for that info, Steve.


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Sep 14 - 09:09 AM

Two Contenders
Jim Carroll

In Carlow Town (Roud 9500)
Jamesie McCarthy, Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded 1976
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

In Carlow town there dwelt a maid, she being a beauties bright.
Many a man came courting her and that both day and night.
Many a man came courting her and for her sake would I,
We will make no matter Molly bán, young men they do tell lies.

Molly being young and innocent, as I've told you before.
Molly being young and innocent, she slighted half a score.
"Though six long months and bitter, I am in love with thee.
I hope you'll see me justified, proved loyal and marry me."

"To marry you dear Molly bán it's a thing I cannot do.
To marry you dear Molly bán it's a thing I will not do.
Go home you foolish creature and do the best you can,
And tell them your love slighted you, and proved a false young man."

Molly would not hang herself, her parents to disgrace.
She would rather go and drowned herself, beside some silent place.
Meeting with the Liffey clear her body to destroy,
Saying, "Adieu to all men breathing, and to you my darling boy."

It was in three days after, when Johnnie went to swim,
Stripping off his small, small clothes and laying them on the banks.
Stripping off his small, small clothes, while gazing on the deep.
It was there he saw his Molly bán and she like fast asleep.

Ten times he kissed her cold pale lips, found she was dead and gone.
"May the Lord have mercy on your soul, I've proved a false young man.
Who will go and tell my parents that they need not look for me?
For this very day in that cold, cold grave I will lie with you Molly."

In Carlow Town (Roud 9500) –Jamesie McCarthy Ju1y 1976
While the theme of a pregnant young woman being abandoned by her lover and committing suicide is common enough in the oral tradition, there seems to be only one other example of this particular song having been recorded, from Mrs Eileen Sheridan (originally from Kerry) in London in 1956. The best known of these types of songs, Caroline of Edinburgh Town' can be found elsewhere in this collection sung by Nora Cleary.

22 - In Charlestown there Lived a Lass (Roud 1414)   Mary Delaney, Tipperary Traveller

For in Charlestown there dwelled a lass,
She was as constant as she was true,
When the young man fell in courting her
And drew her in despair.

He courted her, oh, for six long months,
And to him she proved unkind,
Then he courted her for six long months,
And by him she proved a child.

"Oh, go home, go home to your dwelling place,
And don't bring your parients in disgrace.
Oh go home to your dwelling place
And you proved with a false young man."

"Now I will not go home to my dwelling place,
For to bring my parients in disgrace,
I would sooner go and drown myself
In a dark and a lonely place."

Now as Willie, he went out walking,
He went out to take fresh air,
And he seen his own love Mary
In the waves of the silvery tide.

Oh, he strips off his fine clothing,
To the river brim he swum,
And he brung his own love Mary
From the waves of the silvery tide.

"Oh Mary, darling Mary,
Is this what you have done,
And the last words I have said to you,
I just said it for fun."

Otherwise known as Floating Down the Tide; The Collier Lad; Molly and William etc.; this ballad was taken down several times in England: in Somerset, Oxfordshire, Suffolk and Dorset, and in Scotland, in Aberdeenshire. As far as we could find, there has been only one version made available from Ireland, that sung by publican Annie Mackenzie of Boho, Co Fermanagh, although the collector, Sean Corcoran, says it was widely known in that area.

The English texts locate the events as taking place in Camden, Brighton or Cambridge, while in Scotland it is set in Kilmarnock, Dumbarton or Marno (Marnock, Banffshire?). A Canadian version places the location as Charlottetown, similar to Mary's Charlestown. One English version gives the unfaithful lover as a farmer's son, while the three complete Scots texts make him a collier; otherwise he is, as here, 'a false young man'.

Mary's text has similarities to the two version of the song Camden Town, (Roud 564 Laws P18), recorded from English gypsies William Hughes and Nelson Ridley by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, particularly the verse that begins 'Now I will not go home...'

Ref: Here is a Health (cassette), ed. Sean Corcoran, Arts Council of Northern Ireland 1986; Travellers Songs from England and Scotland, eds. Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, R & K P, 1977.

Other CDs: Sarah Porter - MTCD 309-10; Ria Johnson - Helions Bumpstead NLCD 5.


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Sep 14 - 12:44 PM

Hi Jim,
A couple of interesting versions. This whole family is a cataloguer's nightmare. 1414 as you say shares text with other members of the larger family of ballads. There is so much variation between versions that both agencies seem to have been employed a lot, oral tradition and rewriting. The wide variation between versions of say 1414 are doubtless down to oral tradition, but the similar ballads are down to rewriting IMO.

The family of ballads including definite textual phrasing can be traced back to Young Andrew (Child 48) from Percy's Folio Ms of about 1650 and there is even a 17thc broadside 'The Forsaken Damsel' in the Rawlinson Collection (Bodleian) that has text in common, and there are various rewrites throughout the 18th century.

The earliest broadside I have that is close to the 1414 ballad is The Dublin Tragedy printed by Maine of Belfast in the early 19th century. This would fit in well with where most of the oral versions have been found.


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Sep 14 - 02:07 PM

I was born near Camden & I live near Cambridge.

But I haven't drowned any young ladies lately -- honest!.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Can you identify this song? -maid floats down tide
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Sep 14 - 02:59 PM

"This whole family is a cataloguer's nightmare"
I got this impression from Steve Roud.
I had to enlist his help when we were putting both versions on the Traveller and Clare CDs.
Jim Carroll


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