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Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America

Richie 05 Jul 15 - 05:34 PM
Richie 05 Jul 15 - 05:58 PM
Lighter 05 Jul 15 - 07:03 PM
Richie 05 Jul 15 - 09:24 PM
Richie 05 Jul 15 - 10:40 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Jul 15 - 03:26 AM
Lighter 06 Jul 15 - 09:59 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Jul 15 - 01:32 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jul 15 - 01:46 PM
Lighter 06 Jul 15 - 02:18 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jul 15 - 02:28 PM
Richie 06 Jul 15 - 03:06 PM
Richie 06 Jul 15 - 03:26 PM
Lighter 06 Jul 15 - 04:58 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 05:51 PM
Jim Brown 06 Jul 15 - 05:55 PM
Richie 06 Jul 15 - 07:26 PM
Richie 06 Jul 15 - 08:41 PM
Jim Brown 07 Jul 15 - 04:44 AM
GUEST 07 Jul 15 - 12:13 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Jul 15 - 01:48 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Jul 15 - 02:05 PM
Richie 07 Jul 15 - 02:54 PM
Lighter 07 Jul 15 - 03:06 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Jul 15 - 03:33 PM
Richie 07 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM
Richie 07 Jul 15 - 04:11 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Jul 15 - 04:58 PM
Jim Brown 07 Jul 15 - 05:12 PM
Jim Brown 07 Jul 15 - 05:35 PM
Richie 07 Jul 15 - 05:57 PM
Richie 07 Jul 15 - 06:36 PM
Richie 07 Jul 15 - 07:55 PM
Lighter 07 Jul 15 - 08:45 PM
Jim Brown 08 Jul 15 - 02:31 AM
Jim Brown 08 Jul 15 - 02:47 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Jul 15 - 03:45 AM
Jim Brown 08 Jul 15 - 04:02 AM
Lighter 08 Jul 15 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,gutcher 08 Jul 15 - 10:16 AM
meself 08 Jul 15 - 11:20 AM
Richie 08 Jul 15 - 02:20 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Jul 15 - 03:24 PM
Jim Brown 08 Jul 15 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 08 Jul 15 - 05:37 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Jul 15 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,gutcher 08 Jul 15 - 05:58 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Jul 15 - 05:59 PM
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Subject: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 05:34 PM

Hi,

I wanted to bring up some of my findings here on North American versions of two Child Ballads, Child 87: Prince Robert and Child 88: Young Johnstone.

I'd appreciate any comments. Both involve forgeries and I'd like to get your assessment.

I'll start with Child 88: Young Johnstone which is found with music in the DT. Only two versions have been collected in North America both by Mackenzie in the early 1900s. I have had my doubts about Mackenzie in the past but I suspected that the was just supplying printed version to his informants to "jog their memories." This was something Barry also did at the time. Giving printed texts and receiving back hand-written versions is suspicious in itself.

Here's what happened: Before 1919 (Quest of the Ballad) Mackenzie tries to get a version of Young Johnson from a man named, John Thomas Matheson. Mackenzie couldn't get it from him- instead he got a school girl to copy it down. Then, in 1928, he prints the same exact version from John Henderson!!! Henderson is apparently 100 years old and can barely give him one verse of another ballad!!!

What?!

There is no mention of the previous informant, John Thomas Matheson, in Mackenzie's 1928 Ballads and songs from Nova Scotia.

To read for yourself google book search "Young Johnson, Mackenzie, Ballad". Here's the text from Quest, 1919 before the ballad:

The Quest of the Ballad by William Roy Mackenzie:

"My discussion of the Nova Scotian versions of the old English and Scottish ballads is beginning to exhibit signs of plethora, but it must be still further expanded to include a very interesting version of "Young Johnson." This is not, so far as I can discover, one of the ballads that were widely current in the good old singing days, but it used to be sung by a favored few, and one of these few was John Thomas Matheson. John Thomas himself made this incautious admission to me one afternoon, and for many a day after he most bitterly regretted his indiscretion. He had, to be sure, sung ballads in the early days of his thoughtless youth, but even then he had been interested in his function of entertainer rather than in the intrinsic merit of his songs, and the intervening years which knew not the ballads had pretty thoroughly crowded out the recollection of them from his mind.

Furthermore, John Thomas was a procrastinator, not of the domestic garden variety, but of a rare and splendid orchid-like species hard to find even in this world of delays. He was, to speak allegorically, procrastination itself personified and incarnate. When I called on him I executed the final steps of my journey over a narrow, swaying board that had been placed to connect the framework for the floor of a porch which he had begun six years before, and which he was still daily planning to complete. And I have known him, after a week of comparative leisure, to light his lantern at eleven o'clock on Saturday night and proceed to the urgent business of shingling his barn, rejoicing in the inward assurance that the stroke of twelve would usher in the holy Sabbath, when we must neither work nor play.

Thus it may be seen that I had made no appreciable progress towards the capture of "Young Johnson" when I extorted from John Thomas the admission that he might be able to think up a few verses if he were given his time. With most singers this is the formal prelude to an almost immediate rendition of the ballad in question, but, coming from John Thomas, it had no more significance than a tale told by an idiot. The sight of a palpable and business-like pad of writing-paper filled him with a vague but unendurable alarm, and I might have had to resign the ballad definitely if I had not chanced by luck to hit upon the only device that would, in all probability, ever have proved successful.

A little distance up the road from John Thomas's unfinished home and imperfectly shingled barn lived a school girl who had found special favor in the sight of the old man, and she cheerfully and confidently guaranteed to procure the ballad for me if I would leave the whole matter of negotiations to her. Consequently, when John Thomas looked hopefully across the road one morning for his usual greeting from his young friend he was met with a request for a song named "Young Johnson," and the following morning, when he was reassuring himself that he had cunningly disposed of the whole matter, he was asked to name the hour after school at which he could most conveniently repeat the song. Day in and day out my accomplice reminded him of the song as Desdemona reminded Othello of the suit of Michael Cassio, and partly through despair at the prospect of an endless persecution and partly through a kindly desire to win approbation from the child whom he delighted to honor, he finally repeated the following version, which was triumphantly copied out and delivered to me by my ally: [ ballad text follows]

So what do you think? Two informants? Later (p. 60) in Ballads and Songs Mackenzie says this about the informant: The first of these was given to me by John Henderson of Tatamagouch, Colchester County, a veteran who had sung this song and many others in his youth, but who when he tried to go beyond the first verse of "Andrew Lammie" for me, was estopped by the weariness and the mere oblivion of a hundred years.

Is Henderson 100 years old? What?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 05:58 PM

Here's the second ballad.

There are also only two North American versions of 87. Prince Robert
and both are from what I believe are unreliable sources. If you run into ballads collected by them, caveat emptor! They are Carey Woofter and Patrick Gainer, both were student collectors at West Virginia University around 1924.

From Folk-Songs of the Southern United States, by Josiah Combs, 1925; edited Wilgus 1967. According to Wilgus, "Harry Saunders" was contributed by F. C. Gainer; Tanner, Gilmer county, West Virginia. Wilgus adds probably contributed by Carey Woofter in 1924. This "source" was certainly supplied by Patrick Gainer, his grandson.

Fifty years later in Patrick Gainer's book Folk Songs from the West Virginia Hills, pp. 61-62 the ballad is from the singing of a Mrs. Nan Wilson of Nicholas County, West Virginia. The only previously reported version, in Combs, was from the singing of F. C. Gainer (p. 204), who was Francis C. Gainer, the grandfather of Patrick Gainer. Patrick certainly knew of the other version and changed his only slightly. Not only did Gainer never say his grandfather knew the ballad, he attributed his version Nan Wilson, who, as far as I can tell, is a fictitious person.

What do you think? Is this an obvious forgery?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 07:03 PM

> Is Henderson 100 years old? What?

Sure sounds like it.

> Two informants?

Seems unlikely, doesn't it? How does Matheson's version compare with Child's?

Maybe F. C. Gainer learned the other song from Nan Wilson, and Patrick was carelessly saving himself a step in documentation. But the circumstances surrounding the song do arouse suspicion. Why do you think Nan Wilson was fictitious?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 09:24 PM

Hi Lighter,

I have been unable to trace most of Gainer's informants, by google search or ancestry.com I have found a couple of them. This is very unusual. Some of Gainer's ballads with the exact same text have been attributed to 3 different informants!!!

The fact that it was attributed to his grandfather (Gainer was raised by his grandfather, his father died when he was two years old- if I remember correctly) and later the nearly exact same ballad is attributed to Nan Wilson-- when no other versions have been found in the US, is damning evidence, IMHO.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 10:40 PM

Lighter-

This is what Mackenzie says about the first version of the ballad (Child 88):

Version A does not follow any of the Child versions closely, nor does it seem to have been influenced by the altered text in Pinkerton's Select Scottish Ballads (I, 69), the free version in Chambers's Twelve Romantic Scottish Ballads (p. 293). In the absence the dream, and in the description of the hawk, hound and steed (coloured, respectively, dark gray, light gray, and milk-white) it is reminiscent of child C, but in most respects it is very unlike that version.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 03:26 AM

Not got much time just at the moment. Whilst the se sources are certainly known as suspect there is every possibility that ballads printed by Child went back into oral tradition fairly rapidly, including some forgeries.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 09:59 AM

> Version A does not follow any of the Child versions closely...

That certainly argues strongly for authenticity, though the circumstances of its collection do make one uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I wonder how many published versions of even well-known ballads might start to look suspicious if we thought about them too much.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 01:32 PM

Prince Robert may be a complete forgery of all versions. Those in Child are very suspect (IMHO). They might at best have come from that clique of 18thc literary Scottish ballad writers. They certainly aren't very old. Child refers to 'this very slender tale' and has little else to say on it. There is sufficient time-lapse between Scott's Minstrelsy being published and the other 3 versions arising either in oral tradition or cobbled together by later collectors.

There are lots of suspect stanzas in the Minstrelsy version; it has Scot's hand all over it, and there are some very suspect points in the other 3, particularly the first 5 stanzas of Agnes Laird's version.

I'll have a look at 'Harry Saunders' later.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 01:46 PM

Nice to see that the "if it doesn't fit the theory it must be a fake" school of scholarship is alive and kicking on Mudcat
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 02:18 PM

You'd be right, Jim, if were talking about an theory dreamed up from nothing.

But in fact, our suspicions about these ballads are based on evidence textual and contextual.

Nobody is asserting that all, or most, or even very many reported texts of Child ballads are phony. In theory one could point a finger at any text and claim that the collector had faked it.

It seemed possible that Mackenzie's 1919 was simply copied (or badly copied) by his schoolgirl (presumably a teenager), possibly on the basis of a few words recalled by Matheson.

But Richie reports that it was rather more different than that, and different from any other printed version. It would be nice to know whether Matheson and Henderson knew each other, or had mutual acquaintances.

In any event, and whatever the "ultimate" source, Matheson's version so far appears to be as legitimate as the text of any other ballad not transmitted by print.

Gainer's song seems far more questionable.

Experience with Scott and others makes it certain that some ballad texts are forgeries. Experience with collectors - and the sort of people who become collectors - suggests that that number, while real, is very low. Richie may have discovered one or two of the few.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 02:28 PM

Lots of "ifs" and "mays", but I'm afraid my experiences with academics has left me somewhat jaundiced - particularly after the 'John Reilly, 'Well Below the Valley' incident.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 03:06 PM

Hi,

Here's Prince Robert - From Folk-Songs of the Southern United States; 1925 (Wilgus edition, 1967). Compare to Child B.

Known by the title "Harry Saunders." Contributed by F. C. Gainer, Tanner, Gilmer Co., West Virginia by Woofter (c. 1924).

And it's forty miles to Nicut Hill,
The nearest way you may go;
But Harry Saunders has taken a wife
That he dares not to bring home.

His mother called to her hired girl
"Sally, draw me a cup of tea,
For I see my son Harry is coming
To eat a meal with me."

His mother lifted the cup of tea,
And touched her lips to the drink,
But never a drop of the poison cup
Of drinking she did think.

Harry took the cup of tea
And put it to his mouth,
He opened his bright red lips
And the poison went quickly down.

His wife sat at Nicut Hill,
Waiting for Harry to come;
She called to her own sister dear,
"Has my husband now come home?"

She went up to her room
And put on a riding-skirt,
She went out to the stable old
And saddled her roan steed.

But when she came to Harry's home,
The guests were in the hall.
The hearse was standing by the yard,
And the friends were mourning all.

"I've come for none of his gold," she said,
"Nor none of his lands so wide;
But his watch and chain, they ought to go,
To his own sweet bride."

And then she kissed his cold white cheeks,
And then she kissed his chin,
And then she kissed his bright red lips
Where there was no breath come in.

And then she fell upon the floor,
Her head beside the bier,
Her heart did break, it was so sore,
But she shed not any tear.

Wilgus, the 1967 editor, attributes this to Woofter. I assume Woofter and Gainer reworked Child B and came up with the name Harry Saunders. Woofter gives the source as F. C. Gainer (Patrick Gainer's grandfather). Linfors wrote an article about Woofter and Wilgus seems to know but withholds judgement to protect Combs reputation. Combs apparently didn't know, I'm not sure why.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 03:26 PM

Hi,

As for Mackenzie, I'm not questioning the authenticity of the ballad per se, just the attribution.

Mackenzie finds a very rare version, the only one in North America, and nine years later publishes it with a different informant-- an informant who is near 100 years old and has trouble getting through one stanza of Andrew Lammie.

It's beyond my comprehension. Mackenzie gives no explanation in 1928, which is worse. The ballad was written down by a young girl in 1919. Apparently Mackenzie felt he needed another informant. For me, this raises doubts about the version.

Mackenzie finds another version before 1928, possibly to support finding a version in the first place! Maybe there's a possible explanation, that's why I'm asking for opinions.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 04:58 PM

There are doubtless many conceivable explanations. But some things are in practice not knowable.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 05:51 PM

> Maybe there's a possible explanation, that's why I'm asking for opinions.

One scenario that comes to mind:

The ploy with the schoolgirl wasn't as successful as Mackenzie made out, but it made an entertaining story for the 1919 book. The text of the ballad actually came from Henderson, who might still have known this song even if he had problems remembering "Andrew Lammie". In the 1928 book, which I'm guessing from the title is a collection of songs with less of a focus on the personal experience of collecting them, Mackenzie gave the correct attribution. (Perhaps he had even forgotten that he had said something else in the earlier book.)

Is that at all plausible?

But I agree it's odd.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 05:55 PM

Sorry, I forgot to sign in again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 07:26 PM

Hi Jim,

Yes, it's plausible. By telling the story of the schoolgirl and John Thomas Matheson before he gives the text- it implies that the ballad was the one and same. Why would he not even mention Henderson, who doesn't appear in his 1919 book?

Mackenzie does the same type of thing in Quest with the Blaeberry Courtship. He attributes it to James Isaac Macdonald in 1919, then in 1928 attributes it to John Henderson.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 08:41 PM

Hi,

The informant of "Johnson and Coldwell," Mackenzie's B version of Child 88 is David Rogers, who was mentioned in Quest, 1919 as an informant in connection with Pretty Polly (Child 4): The only additions which I made after my interview with John were variant versions of two stanzas, supplied by an old neighbor of Little Ned's named David Rogers, whom I discovered in a town about twenty miles away. David's recollections of the ballad were slim, as the paucity of his contribution will indicate, but he made up in part for this by an earnest assurance that whatever he supplied was sure to be right.

Rogers contribution to Mackenzie's compilation of Pretty Polly (Child 4) was first published in 1909 (Three Ballads from Nova Scotia by W. Roy Mackenzie; The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 23, No. 89 (Jul.- Sep., 1910), pp. 371-380). He is called David Rogers of River John (Mackenzie's hometown). The article was likely encouraged and introduced by Kittredge while Mackenzie studied at Harvard.

No mention of Rogers' "Johnson and Coldwell" is made in 1919. Although it's possible the book was completed before 1919- it shouldn't have been 10 years. The point being that Mackenzie (b. 1883 at River John) would have the opportunity to have known Rogers repertoire before Quest.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 04:44 AM

Hi Richie,

I'm not that convinced by my scenario either. As a simpler alternative, and fairer to Mackenzie, what if Mackenzie just didn't have good records of some of his early collecting and got confused years later about who he had got a particular song from? The attribution to Henderson in 1928 could simply be a mistake (or I suppose it could be the correction of an earlier mistake : maybe he had realized that the ballad the schoolgirl got from Matheson was a different one.)

Have you seen Mackenzie's earlier article in JAF, "Ballad-singing in Nova Scotia" (vol. 22, no. 85, 1909, pp. 327-331)? He writes there about how he met John Henderson, who he describes as over 80 (not 100) "summer before last", which I guess would mean in 1907. Apparently he had been famous in the district for having known the largest stock of ballads when he was young. His parents brought a collection of broadsides with them when they came to Nova Scotia around 1820. The mail was distributed from their house, and John remembered how new ballad sheets kept arriving in the post for people in the district. In this article Mackenzie doesn't mention any songs collected from John Henderson, although he does indicate that he at least tried to collect songs from him, as he mentions how "One day, when Mr. Henderson was vainly attempting to recall the words of a song which had been popular in his youth, he apologized to me for his present lack of memory, and, as an offset, explained that he had once had a better memory for ballads than any other man in the West River district."

Combining that with the 1928 mention of how Henderson couldn't manage more than one stanza of "Andrew Lammie", the general picture seems to be of someone who had been a famous ballad singer in his youth, but who could no longer remember (and perhaps no longer valued) the ballads he had once known – which might be why he doesn't feature in Quest. But on the other hand, if Mackenzie was deliberately giving a false attribution to Henderson, for whatever reason, in 1928, why would he at the same time apparently undermine it by mentioning Henderson's memory difficulties?...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 12:13 PM

I am somewhat puzzled to read that Mr Henderson, who in all other aspects appears to have been mentally alert and having been a noted ballad singer in his younger days, should appear to have forgotten all the ballads in his former repertoire.

Many singers, older than Henderson, with failing memories retained their ability to give fully off their former repertoire for many years.                                                            

To descend to a personal level and as one fast approaching Henderson's age I find that ballads/songs learned orally from childhood to under 30 come with ease and no further back than this last weekend in 4 sessions I, without a repeat, sang some 25/30 items, roughly 12 being ballads, prompting one young lady at the fourth session to enquire if I knew any short songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 01:48 PM

I don't think there can be any doubt that 'Harry Saunders' is a one-off close rewrite of Child B with just a few personal names and details altered. Who was responsible for the rewrite we will probably never know unless some obvious corroborative evidence turns up. It is what it is. I don't think there's any point in looking much further. The people involved in its publishing have other marks against them and this is just adding to the flames.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 02:05 PM

Hi, Jim C.
Which academics are we talking about?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 02:54 PM

Hi,

Thanks for your replies. After the 1928 book Mackenzie ended his folk collecting and writing career. This is how I feel, "changing the name of an informant should not be done without an explanation." Since he did that several times it brings doubt to the authenticity of his work.

Since we are on the topic I'll present one more US version that is to me obviously fraudulent, the only version of Child 90, Jellon Grame. This version was submitted as a manuscript by the Smiths (R.E. Lee Smith and Thomas P. Smith) to Kyle Davis Jr. (editor of Traditional Ballads of Virginia 1929) in 1932, who published it various times, 1937, 1957, 1958 and finally in his book, More Trad. Ballads of Virginia in 1960.

Unfortunately he also published other ballads by the Smiths including "Percy" (laughably!!) a version of Edward, "The Fair Sisters" a version of The Twa Sisters, "Three Sisters" a version of Babylon and "King Orfeo" once thought by Davis to be a version of Child 19.

Thomas Smith contributed a number of collected songs and ballad to The Brown Collection when he lived in NC. The Smiths version of Twa Sisters for example was a blatant re-write of Child A which was rejected by the Brown Collection. Lee Smith changed it slightly and sent it to Davis who published it. I think Thomas Smith's standing with the Brown Collection was Davis's downfall.

Davis accepted the manuscript which is a re-write of Child A but did not try to hear them sing it (they claimed they could sing it). He did not get the tune and because he already accepted a number of their manuscripts as legitimate - did the same with Jellon Grame.

Certainly this is a sad mark on Davis's career, but he should have known better.

What do you think?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 03:06 PM

> but he should have known better.

Well, he certainly should have been more skeptical - though scholars of his generation often tended to be more easy-going than today.

Wishful thinking is powerful. It's easy to be fooled by something you very much want to believe in. I can imagine Davis doubting that any sort of lowlife would fake a Child ballad and palm it off on an academic - for no obvious reason at all.

Remember when one of the most distinguished British authorities on Nazi Germany pronounced the "Hitler Diaries" authentic - in spite of the fact that for fifty years there had never been a suggestion that Hitler had kept personal diaries?

One thought that persuaded him - not entirely unreasonably: "Who, I asked myself, would forge sixty volumes when six would have served his purpose?"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 03:33 PM

Peter Buchan would have been able to answer that last question.

I doubt if there are any serious scholars left who would put any store in the Smiths' concoctions. Their books sell well as examples of hoaxes though.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM

Hi,

I've reproduced Davis's commentary in 1960 here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-90-jellon-grame.aspx

Coffin, a deference to Davis, includes this as the sole North American version. The number of times Davis had reproduced this version is appalling. He also wrote an article with Paul Worthington (AKA Paul Clayton) in 1958 which gives a detailed analysis.

At least the Traditional Ballad Index says this:

Davis seems to have no doubts about the authenticity of his text, the lone representative outside Scotland of a ballad with only the weakest roots in tradition even there -- this even though, as he himself admits, it has a surprising similarity to Child A. Well, if he won't question it, I will. I'm not saying it's a fake -- but I wouldn't be surprised if it were influenced by print. - RBW

In cases like this (Smith's version of Jellon Grame as well as their other versions and Woofter and Gainer's versions) it's good to know. Otherwise you might do what Steve Gardham did with Ganier's version of 'The Brown Girl' (Child 295) - comment on it without knowing it's a recreation. (See Steve's article on Child 295).

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 04:11 PM

Hi,

Here's what the result is:

All of Thomas P. Smith's contributions to The Brown Collection should be questioned (they haven't been).

All of the Smith's contributions to Davis should be regarded as ballad recreations.

All of Woofter's contributions to Cox (Yew Piney Mountains), Chapple and Comb's should be questioned. Unfortunately Combs didn't always name a collector but thankfully Wilgus did that in his 1967 revision of Folk-Songs of the Southern United-States (1925, first edition).

All of Gainer's contributions should be considered recreations unless they exist in other collections. Gainer's contributions to Boette should be considered recreations.

Unfortunately some of these collections (books) are excellent collections (books) and most of the source material is authentic. Wilgus does an good job talking about Woofter and the Combs Collection- but he doesn't go far enough, in my opinion.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 04:58 PM

Richie, many thanks for your boldness and honesty. Please do flag these points up in bright lights on your website. Unfortunately the situation in this country is still that academics are very chary about making such bold statements and it is largely left to independent scholars to keep banging away. There are still far too many romantics and deniers about who, for reasons of their own, will not accept the fakery. It is only relatively recently that the extent of Lloyd's fakery is being accepted.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 05:12 PM

> I am somewhat puzzled to read that Mr Henderson, [...] should appear to have forgotten all the ballads in his former repertoire.

Another aspect that Mackenzie mentions in his 1909 article is that in that area of Nova Scotia people of Scottish origin had apparently rejected the ballads by the 1900s, partly for religious reasons and partly because they had been taken up by the socially inferior French-Swiss community, not to mention the availability of more modern songs for entertainment. He mentions that nothing was left of the Henderson family's collection of broadsides (presumably the paper had been recycled one way or another), and that John Henderson had no regrets about this. I imagine it could be that he simply had no interest in keeping in his memory songs that neither he nor his community valued any more. As Mackenzie puts it, from his 40s onwards: "Possessed of a good voice and a fondness for performing at the little social entertainments and local concerts of the village, he soon outgrew such an antiquated practice as ballad-singing, and the few ballads that he can still sing he has retained almost by accident."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 05:35 PM

> Mackenzie does the same type of thing in Quest with the Blaeberry Courtship.

I should have noticed this earlier. In his 1909 article Mackenzie says he got "The Blaeberry Courtship" from John Henderson "last summer" (i.e. 1908?), and that it was one of the few ballads he still knew, because an old friend had often asked him to sing it. It's the only song sung by Henderson that Mackenzie actually names in that article. So I would guess the attribution of "The Blaeberry Courtship" to Henderson in the 1928 book is most likely correct. And if that's the case perhaps he was also the real source of "Young Johnson" too.   

I still can't think of any plausible reasons why the two ballads should be attributed to other singers in the 1919 book, apart from either messy records or taking liberties with details for the sake of a good story.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 05:57 PM

Hi,

Here's some what Wilgus wrote. From: Folk-Songs of the Southern United States; Excerpt from The Forward by Wilgus - 1967:

On the other hand, a number of Woofter's contributions merit distrust. Louis W. Chappell pointed out variations in printings of "The Yew-Pine Mountains," which Woofter supplied to both Combs and Cox. [18] The variations are slight, and Chappell was using them to attack Cox's editing, pointing out also that Cox apparently made alterations in printing Comb's text of "John Henry."[19] But we note that Woofter contributed to Cox a text of Child No. 275 credited to Mrs. Sarah Clevenger of Briar Lick Run, near Perkins, Gilmer County. "She learned it from her grandmother, Mrs. Rebecca Clevenger, who came from London County, Virginia, seventy-eight years ago, as the date in the family Bible gives it." Woofter contributed to the Combs
Collection a text identical but for a transposition in one line, and indicated the source as David Chenoweth, Gip, Gilmer County, West Virginia (Appendix, No. 38). To Chenoweth is also credited the unique textual form of "The Cruel Brother" (Appendix, No. 5), which Woofier annotates as "doctored by one Daniel De Weese."

To prove an alleged traditional text fraudulent (i.e., deliberately altered or re-created to deceive the student of folksong) is not always easy. Unless one can obtain from the alleged informant a denial that he furnished the song to the alleged collector- as Vance Randolph was able to do when investigating John Robert Moore's collecting of a version of Child 218[20]- he can judge the validity of the variant only by relating it to the known history of the song, which can be established largely by a study of its variants. The process is indeed almost circular. But, despite a memorat even more convincing than that supplied for the text of Child No. 275 quoted above, I believe I have demonstrated that the Woofter text of "Edward" is a clever conflation of Child's A and B texts.[21] In a similar study, to be published in Western Folklore, Bernth Lindfors has shown that the West Virginia text of Child No. 2 in the Combs Collection (Appendix, 1A; not identified as a Woofter contribution, but alleged to be from a Gilmer County informant) is a palpable fraud-palpable only to the student who has made a meticulous study of the tradition of the ballad.

When a song text has little traditional status, one must be wary of
an alleged recovery from a folksinger. We therefore must at least note
that the Woofter text of "Ranting Roving Lad" (p. 149) is almost
identical to that printed in Allan Cunningham's The Songs of Scotland
(pp. 208 f.). One swallow does not make a summer- but Woofter also
contributed "The Old Wife" (pp. 135f.), which is quite similar to
"The Auld, Wife Beyont the Fire" in Allan Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany (1571, ed., f, 103ff.), where it was published as an old song with additions. For the Scots euphemism for sexual intercourse, snishing, the Woofter text substitutes spruncin. Aside from a version of "The old wife" on a recent recording[22] certainly derived from Combs' printing, the only other notice of spruncin' (sic) is in a localization of "The Gypsy Laddie" (Child No. 200; Appendix, No. 33B) contributed by Carey Woofter.

    It's clear to me Woofter and Gainer just make up informants and details about them. Why Gainer (Woofter did it first) would use his grandfather, who fostered his love of ballads, as a fake informant is beyond any sense of morality that I have.

People need to know about them, much as many of Niles ballads are not recognized as legitimate. And why? Because Niles recreated them. Because of the stories that Niles and Woofter wrote about the informants, it's almost a pathological recreation.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 06:36 PM

Jim,

If "The Blaeberry Courtship" was one of the few ballads John Henderson could sing in 1908, then how, in 1928 does he know a full 25 stanza version of Child 88 titled, "Johnson and the Colonel." And considering Mackenzie attributed the exact same ballad to a schoolgirl in Quest (1919) it seems fishy- which is something they know about in Nova Scotia.

Note also that no mention of Henderson's "The Blaeberry Courtship" was made in 1919. Instead Henderson's 1928 version is attributed to James Isaac Macdonald in 1919. Who sang it?

This is what I meant in my previous remark about Blaeberry.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 07:55 PM

Hi,

John Jacob Niles was a ballad re-creator. He has admitted it and his admission has been quoted by Wilgus. He did keep field notebooks from his collecting which I have not examined but some of which were examined by Ron Pen, author of I Wonder as I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles.

I do not doubt that Niles collected most of the ballads in his "The Ballad Book." It clear to me that Niles saw nothing wrong with (or he couldn't resist) improving the ballads he collected. Because he knew ballads as a scholar and performer, he added things which could not have been sung by the informants.

Instead of saying what he collected and what he changed- he said nothing. This implies that the text was exactly as he collected it. This is wrong-- it's misleading and dishonest.

I have no doubt that he improved many of the ballads he collected- Niles was a talented guy. Some of his ballads I believe were written from a fragment of something he collected- such as I Wonder As I Wander. Or maybe it was just a name- like "Judas" that inspired him.

If I take any of his ballads, and examine them you can see what the problem is. The last one I looked at was child 85 Lady Alice. Niles found two versions, I look at Niles A:

Earl Colvin- John Jacob Niles collected this version on August 1, 1934 from Carson Shook and his wife of Asheville, NC.


Earl Colvin rode home from the waterside,
He rode through wind and rain,
And then he lay down on his straight little bed
And died, all a-wrack of pain,
And died, all a-wrack of pain.

Oh, they gave him water, they gave him wine,
They gave him gruel with a spoon,
But when he turned his face to the wall,
The bell in the tower struck noon.

Now Alice May sat in her father's hall,
She sat and rested her head.
She did not know Earl Colvin was sick,
She did not know he was dead.
She did not know he was dead.

Alice May sat in her mother's bower,
She sewed at her mother's side,
When in come a runner with foam on his horse,
Said: 'Earl Colvin, your lover, has died.'
Said: 'Earl Colvin, your lover, has died.'

'Oh daughter, oh daughter, what makes you weep?
Oh daughter, what makes you cry?'
'Oh Mother, oh Mother, my lover is dead,
Oh Mother, I fear I must die.
Oh Mother, I fear I must die.'

At first she looked out of the window wide.
And then she looked out of the door,
And then she spied as fair a corpse
As ever shoulders bore.
As ever shoulders bore.

'Whose coffin, whose coffin, whose coffin?' cried she,
'Whose coffin so stark and so new?'
'It is one that holds Earl Colvin's clay,
Who once did love of you.
Who once did love of you.'

'Sit down, sit down the coffin box,
Lay off the coffin lid.'
And the bearers put him down on the grass
And did as they were bid.
And did as they were bid.

Oh, it's long she looked into his face,
Oh, it's deep she grieved and sore,
Oh, it's hard she pressed his clay-cold lips,
As she did oft before.
As she did oft before.

'See yonder dove, hit mourns its love
And flies from pine to pine.
Today you will weep at Earl Colvin's grave,
Tomorrow you'll weep at mine.
Tomorrow you'll weep at mine.'

[There are no known US versions with Colvin or Earl in them. Niles knows the name Covill (from Child 42) and uses a similar name. Niles knows Child 85 is Lady Alice, he names her, Alice. The "May" could come from "well-fared may" in Child 42.

In stanza 1, Niles knows about the waterside and the mermaid and Clyde's Water. In stanza 2 Niles know about the British Child versions of Lady Alice and the mother feeding him gruel and the noon, spoon rhyme. The problem is there are no US version (except Brown A which probably came from print) that have gruel and the noon, spoon rhyme. His informant couldn't have known that.

Without continuing- you get my drift. Niles is a ballad recreator- who know what the original fragment he collected from Carson Shook was?

Niles published his book, 25 years after his collecting was done- plenty of time to spruce up the ballads!!!

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 08:45 PM

Thanks for that detailed explication of Niles, Richie.

He also planted his original "Venezuela" in the middle of a collection of WW1 songs, claiming to have learned it from British sailors. Other included songs are suspect as well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 02:31 AM

> If "The Blaeberry Courtship" was one of the few ballads John Henderson could sing in 1908, then how, in 1928 does he know a full 25 stanza version of Child 88...

Mackenzie in 1909 writes that it was "one of the few ballads" that Henderson remembered, not "the only ballad". That means there were others that are not named specificially in the article, so "Young Johnson" could have been one of them. Unless, of course, Mackenzie in 1928 actually says that he had got it from Henderson more recently. Does he?

I admit that the bit about "a hundred years" might point that way, since Henderson is just "over eighty years old" in 1909, but couldn't it also just be that Henderson's age had become exaggerated in Mackenzie's memory by 1928? (Mackenzie would have been 24 or 25 when they met, so Henderson probably seemed very old to him, whatever his actual age.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 02:47 AM

I shouldn't have put "one of the few ballads" in quotation marks. Those aren't Mackenzie's exact words. What he actually says is: "the few ballads that he can still sing he has retained almost by accident. 'The Blaeberry Courtship,' for instance ...", but I think that amounts to much the same thing -- Henderson could still sing a small number of ballads, and "The Blaeberry Courtship" was just one of them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 03:45 AM

Someone from your side of the pond should write a book on all of this fakery. It would take a mind like that of David C Fowler, but you certainly qualify, Richie. This side of the pond the most comprehensive book we have is Dave Harker's 'Fakesong' but unfortunately it is sidetracked by an overemphasis on political motives for the fakery and has thus been rightly heavily criticised.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 04:02 AM

> Mackenzie does the same type of thing in Quest with the Blaeberry Courtship. He attributes it to James Isaac Macdonald in 1919, then in 1928 attributes it to John Henderson.

I've just read what Mackenzie writes about James Isaac Macdonald in the 1919 book (should have done this earlier). Conclusion: he and John Henderson in the 1909 article are the same person. Pages 227-234, about James Isaac Macdonald, are basically a rewritten version of what Mackenzie had written about John Henderson in the 1909 article - same life story in detail, same personality as far it comes across in the texts, just a different name. In both cases, there is then a contrast drawn with Robert Langille (same name in both, although he becomes "Bob" in 1919), similar in age to Henderson/Macdonald but of "French-Swiss" origin, who can still sing ballads, although he just gets a paragraph in the article and there is much more about him in the book.

Who knows which, if either, name is the real one, but at least the singer of "The Blaeberry Courtship" is recognizably the same person in 1909, 1919, and 1928. There's no way he could also be John Thomas Matheson, however, so the changed attribution of "Young Johnson" remains hard to explain.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 07:28 AM

There seems to be no innocent explanation for this.

No academic in 1909 (or 1928) would have thought it necessary to give pseudonyms to rural informants - unless they demanded it, which is highly unlikely.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 10:16 AM

In my post of 7/7/15 I queried Henderson's apparent lack of ability, at the age of 80, to remember any of his ballad repertoire, this, in subsequent posts has been shown to be incorrect as he apparently remembered a few ballads at that time.
The main reason for my post, as someone who came late in life to discover the value of what I had memorized from oral transmission before the age of 30, was the believe that in later life memories acquired in ones formative years are those which are most to the fore in advanced life.
I am not sure of the religious mores of Henderson's area but as a descendant of the hill folk in rural South West Scotland, an area that knew all about religious persecution by the Crown from the 17th. C. I can be fairly certain that religion did not hinder the oral transmission by a rural people of secular songs and ballads, many of a risqué nature.
To name but a few:---
Kissed Yestreen
The Bonny Hind
Sheath and Knife
John Anderson My Jo
The Taylor
The Ingram Servant Lass
She Wadna Dae It
Etc-Etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: meself
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 11:20 AM

I recall reading somewhere - it may have been from Helen Creighton, but I have a notion it was from another collector, possibly Mackenzie himself - that ballad-singing had declined in that area under the influence of Presbyterianism, which, along with Protestantism generally, is predominant among Scots (and others) along that coast (that's my impression, having spent much time there - I don't think River John has a Catholic church, but I may be mistaken).

I wonder, too, if the intertwining of Protestantism with the Temperance movement could have factored into it - ballad-singing, like fiddling, might have been associated somewhat with drink, whether in the popular mind or simply within the family circle ("And then he starts singing one of those damned old songs that goes on for an hour - if he doesn't pass out first'). 'Parlour Songs', on the other hand, were quite respectable, and, allowing for less-than-solo performance, may have required less 'fortification'.

But then, Helen Creighton didn't get rolling until the 1930s, and look how much she was able to find, ballads and otherwise ....

(Pardon the thread creep!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Richie
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 02:20 PM

Gutcher, I hope someone has recorded the ballads you learned 50 years ago. This thread is trying to identify who Mackenzie's informant is since Mackenzie has given tow names to a rare ballad.

Meself- certainly this has been a problem in Appalachia too. when Sharp was trying to collect ballads from 1916-1918 some church members refused to sing the old ballads, or "love songs" as Sharp called them to try and elicit a version. Read his diaries.

As for Mackenzie, more information is necessary to figure out what he did and why. For now some of his ballads are attributed to different names, possibly referring to the same informant!!!

TY for your comments!!!

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 03:24 PM

Joe,
I have long harboured the idea that John of Hazel Green comes from SW Scotland. The only place in Scotland that has a name anything like 'Hazel Green' is a small place a few miles SW of Newton Stewart not far from Garlies Castle the home of the Garlies Stewarts. There are plenty of Johns in the family.

I would guess the ballad is not very old, perhaps early 18thc. I base this on the peaceful nature of the ballad, a not very common occurrence in pre-Union Scotland, and the fact that the father can roam at will and pick up girls on the roadside.

Are you anywhere near Newton Stewart?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 04:51 PM

Finding that the singer of "The Blaeberry Courtship" is given a different name in the 1919 book compared with the 1909 article (but then goes back to the original name in the 1928 book) made me curious to see if Mackenzie was in the habit of changing people's names between his JAF articles in 1909, 1910, and 1912 and his 1919 book. (I don't have access to the 1928 book, so I can't compare it.)

As far as I can see, he wasn't.

There are four ballads in Mackenzie's 1910 and 1912 articles that also appear in the 1919 book:

1) "Little Matha Grove"(" Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard") is described in "Three Ballads from Nova Scotia" (1910) as a composite text, mainly collected from from Mrs. Levi Langille of Marshville, with contributions from Mrs. James Gammon of River John, John Langille of River John, and Mrs. Jacob Langille of Marshville. In "Ballads from Nova Scotia (Continued)" (1912), Mackenzie gives some variant stanzas collected from Mrs. Bigney, of Pictou.

In "Quest of the Ballad" (1919), Mackenzie says (p. 87) he collected the ballad from someone introduced as "Easter Ann", who seems fairly clearly to be the same person referred to more formally as "Mrs Levi Langille" in 1910 (the family connections match up), and he gives the first two stanzas of her version (which match those in 1910). Then (pp. 91-92), he says he also collected some stanzas from Mrs. James Gammell and three members of the Langille family. Mrs. James Gammell is obviously the "Mrs. James Gammon" of 1910, and the three members of the Langille family are John Langille and Mrs. Jacob Langille of 1910 and Mrs Bigney of 1912 (described in the article as the daughter of Isaac Langille, hence her local name of "Isaac's Ellen"). So no discrepancy here apart from the difference between "Gammell" and "Gammon", one of which is obviously a misreading or mishearing of the other.


2) "Pretty Polly" ("Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight")
No discrepancy. In 1910, he says this was collected from Mrs. Levi Langille, John Langille (who supplied most of the text), with two stanzas added from David Rogers of River John. Assumingm as above, that Mrs Levi Langille of 1910 = Easter Ann of "Quest", he says the same in "Quest" (pp. 89-92).

3) "Six Questions" (Captain Wedderburn's Courtship)
No discrepancy here either. In 1910 he says he collected it from John Adamson of Millsville
In "Quest" (p. 107) he also says he collected it from John Adamson. The story of how Adamson learned it from his wife who learned it from a friend (p. 110) is the same as in 1910.

4) "The Greenwood Siding" ("The Cruel Mother")
No discrepancy here either. In 1912, he says this was collected from Mrs. Bigney, of Pictou, also known as Isaac's Ellen. In "Quest", starting on p. 102 he says it was collected from Isaac's Ellen. The account in the book of their discussion of the song matches that in the article.

So, for what it's worth, it looks as if the only informant who has a different name in "Quest" compared with the earlier articles is John Henderson / James Isaac Macdonald.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 05:37 PM

Richie
My apologies for, not for the first time, intruding myself on one of your threads. My only excuse, this time, for such behaviour is that I got rather stirred up over the past weekend by actually meeting some other human beings a rather rare event these days for someone living alone in the country with no near neighbours.
I have recorded some of the ballads and stories at the SoSS, Edinburgh on a number of occasions.

Steve.
I now live about 1 1/2 hours drive North of Newton Stewart but do know the area.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 05:55 PM

1928 edition Lady Isabel.
A is John Langville
B is David Rogers
C is Levi Langville. the 2 Langville versions have only trifling differences typical of oral tradition.

Cruel Mother is Mrs Ellen Bigney.

Captain Wedderburn is John Adamson, Westville, Pictou Co.

Little Musgrave is Mrs James Gammon, River John, PC.

If we are just looking at one discrepancy out of 150 songs I would happily put it down to some sort of unforced error. The other editors we looked at present multiple problems.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 05:58 PM

Sorry the last guest was I.

Richie.
Carl Lindahl from Houston Uni. has also been making a number of recordings of the material over the past few years.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 05:59 PM

Joe,
I'm absolutely certain everyone else on this thread absolutely welcomes anything you wish to contribute. I certainly do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 06:03 PM

Joe,
Do you know Ronnie Clark and have you seen his book The Mansfield Ms?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Jim Brown
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 06:34 PM

> For now some of his ballads are attributed to different names, possibly referring to the same informant!!!

Well, to keep things in proportion, it looks as if we just have two cases where the same ballad text is attributed to different names (apart from cases where a formal name is used in one place and an informal local name in another but they are obviously the same person). Unless there are other discrepancies between the 1919 and 1928 books, it doesn't look as if Mackenzie made a habit of it.

I don't think there can be any doubt that "The Blaeberry Courtship" is attributed to the same informant all along the way. For some reason he is given one name in 1909 and 1928 and another in 1919, but all the other information given about him is consistent. The change of name is puzzling, but I don't see that it suggests that anything else has been faked in that case.
   
That leaves "Young Johnson", which admittedly is a different case. That really is attributed to two different informants, who can't just be two names for the same person. Without Mackenzie's original notes to check, there's probably no way we can ever know, but to be honest it seems to me that the most likely explanation is just a casual editing error in the 1928 book. Apart from anything else, if Mackenzie had really been trying to pass of a fake text as authentic, wouldn't he have been more careful to keep his story consistent from one publication to the next?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 06:52 PM

I am at it again

In the year 1696 Griselda Sinclair, daughter of the Earl of Rosslyn married a Captain Wedderburn and somewhere I have seen a reference to the ballad having appeared pre 1735. I have been shot down before on that date on this forum but live in hope that I may yet again find the reference.


Steve.
I met Ronnie on one occasion but have no knowledge of the book.

So far Anderson is the only one I can find who mentions that the Kennedys of Bargany burned Auchruglen Castle in the 14th.C. with the Kennedys of Casseills having attacked Loudon Castle in the 16th.C. with no mention of them burning it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Child Ballads from North America
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 03:07 PM

The Mansfield ms was bought c1900 by Macmath. It was written by an Edinburgh well-heeled lady c1760-80 but contains some very interesting material including Child ballads. At £7 (cost price) it is very cheap and Ronnie had it printed at his own expense. I can let you have his contact details if you are interested.


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