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Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn

Joe Offer 03 Jan 11 - 09:32 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 15 - 07:03 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Jul 15 - 07:38 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 15 - 09:34 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 15 - 09:52 PM
Reinhard 23 Jul 15 - 01:21 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Jul 15 - 02:49 PM
MartinRyan 23 Jul 15 - 03:05 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Jul 15 - 03:23 PM
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Subject: Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:32 PM

Jon Boden's A Folk Song a Day for January 4 is "Peggy Bann," and we don't have much definitive information on this song. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on the song:

    Peggy Bawn

    DESCRIPTION: An Irishman stops at a Scots farmer's house and courts daughter Jane. The farmer offers his daughter in marriage, money, and land. The singer thinks of Peggy and excuses himself: he must be off on the king's business. He will always be true to Peggy
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1788 (William Shield's opera "Marion," according to OLochlainn-More)
    KEYWORDS: infidelity sex rejection separation Ireland Scotland father courting money
    FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(England(Lond))
    REFERENCES (2 citations):
    OLochlainn-More 5, "Peggy Bawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
    ADDITIONAL: Charles Gavan Duffy, editor, The Ballad Poetry of Ireland (1845), pp. 134-135, "Peggy Bawn"

    Roud #661
    RECORDINGS:
    Walter Pardon, "Peggy Benn" (on Voice01)
    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Harding B 25(1481)[many illegible words], "Peggy Band," D. Wrighton? (Birmingham)[hand-written note on broadside], 1810-1820; also Harding B 28(149), Firth b.25(391), Harding B 20(131), Harding B 11(2699), Harding B 11(2700), Harding B 11(2982), Firth c.18(244), 2806 c.17(329), 2806 b.11(232), "Peggy Band"; Harding B 25(1480), "Peggy Bann"
    NOTES: OLochlainn-More: "Once very popular in Northern Ireland and among the Irish in Scotland.
    Duffy (1845): "The existence of this ballad is traceable for a century -- it is probably much older. It bears strong evidence of having been written in Ulster, where it holds its ground with undiminished popularity to this day."
    I have to admit to some confusion. It seems clear that Jane and Peggy are not the same person but some broadside lines make it seem otherwise: "With hat in hand I came away, And parted with each one, And especially the pretty girl Who was tired of lying alone. With hat in hand I came away, But in my mind it ran, That blithe and merry were the days I had with Peggy Band." The counter argument, from broadside Bodleian Harding B 25(1481), "Peggy Band's Answer," D. Wrighton? (Birmingham), 1810-1820 has Peggy relating that her Jemmy, "a SCOTISH Lady did adore, And offerred him her Hand, But he slighted all her Proffers For his dear PEGGY BAND." - BS
    File: OLcM005

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD: Peggy Band
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 07:03 PM

Tim Radford posted one version at Jon Boden's Website:

There is a version of the song – called – Peggy Band, in the John Clare manuscript. I first heard it sung by a band called Rough Music in the mid 70's, sung by the sadly no longer with us, Richard Valintine of the Old Swan Band.
The words are different, but follow the same story.

PEGGY BAND

O it was a lorn and a dismal night,
And the storm beat loud and high; 

Not a friendly light to guide me right 

Was there shining in the sky, 

When a lonely hut my wanderings met, 

Lost in a foreign land, 

And I found the dearest friend as yet 

In my lovely Peggy Band.

"O, father, here's a soldier lad, 

And weary he seems to be." 

"Then welcome in," the old man said, 

And she gave her seat to me. 

The fire she trimmed, and my clothes she dried 

With her own sweet lily hand, 

And o'er the soldier's lot she sighed, 

While I blest my Peggy Band.

When I told the tale of my wandering years, 

And the nights unknown to sleep, 

She made excuse to hide her tears, 

And she stole away to weep. 

A pilgrim's blessing I seemed to share, 

As saints of the Holy Land, 

And I thought her a guardian angel there, 

Though he called her his Peggy Band.

The night it passed, and the hour to part 

With the morning winged away, 

And I felt an anguish at my heart 

That vainly bid to stay. 

I thanked the old man for all he did, 

And I took his daughter's hand, 

But my heart was full, and I could not bid 

Farewell to my Peggy Band.

A blessing on that friendly cot, 

Where the soldier found repose, 

And a blessing be her constant lot 

Who soothed the stranger's woes. 

I turned a last look at the door, 

As she held it in her hand, 

And my heart ached sore, as I crossed the moor, 

For to leave my Peggy Band.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 07:38 PM

"Peter Bellamy recorded Peggy Bawn accompanied on concertina in 1974 for The First Folk Review Record" ... Mainly Norfolk online site

Actually listed there as "Peggy Bann", iirc. Not the same song. In this one, the narrator is offered marriage by a rich young woman he meets "As I wandered over Highland Hill", an offer endorsed by her father, who offers him "Five hundred pound ... Likewise a piece of land", if he will marry his daughter; but he refuses the offer, as his own "jewel", Peggy Bann, awaits him at home and "My heart lies in her breast; and although we at a distance are, still I love her the best. Although we at a distance are, and seas between us roar, still I'll be faithful to my Peggy Bann, so farewell for ever more".

The coincidental similarity of the name is all that seems to link these two songs. Not even clear if they were originally versions of the same song.

≈M≈


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Subject: ADD Version: Peggy Benn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 09:34 PM

Yeah, I see what you mean, Michael. Here's Walter Pardon's rendition of "Peggy Benn," recorded by Mike Yates in the singer's home, Knapson, Norfolk, 24 June 978; as Peggy Bawn on Topic 12TS392.
From Volume 1 of Voice of the People.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOoESwq4-R4

PEGGY BENN

As I rambled over Highland hills to a farmer's house I came.
The night being dark and something wet I ventured in the same,
Where I was kindly treated and a pretty girl I spied,
Who asked me if I had a wife but marriage I denied.

I courted her all that long eve until near the dawn next day,
When frankly unto me she said, "Straight along with you I'll go.
For Ireland is a fine country and you to the Scots are kin,
So I will go along with you my fortune to begin."

The daybreak being nearly come I into the house was ta'en [taken].
When the good man kindly asked me if I would wed his daughter Jane.
"One hundred pounds I will give to you, beside a piece of land."
But scarcely had he spoke the words when I thought of Peggy Benn,

"Your offer, sir, is very good and I thank you, too," said I,
"But I cannot be your son-in-law and I'll tell the reason why.
My business calleth me in haste; I am the King's messenger bound.
I cannot be your son-in-law until I've seen the Irish ground."

Oh, Peggy Benn, thou art my jewel and thy heart lies in my breast.
Although we at a distance are, still I will love thee the best.
Although we at a distance are, and the seas between us roar,
Yet I'll be constant, Peggy Benn; and adieu for ever more.


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Subject: ADD Version: Peggy Bawn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 09:52 PM

The version in O Lochlainn is very similar.

PEGGY BAWN

As I ga'ed o'er Hielan' hills to a farmer's house I came.
The night being dark and something wet I ventured in the same,
Where I was kindly treated and a pretty girl I spied,
Who asked me if I had a wife but marriage I denied.

I courted her the lee long night, Till near the dawn of day,
When frankly she to me did say, "Along wi' you I'll gae;
For Ireland is a fine country, And the Scots to ye are kin:
So I will gang along with you, My fortune to begin."

The morn being come and breakfast o'er, To the parlour I was ta'en;
The gudeman kindly asked of me, If I'd marry his daughter Jane.
"A hundred crowns I'll gi'e with her, Forbye a piece of lan';"
But scarely had he spoke the word When I thought of Peggy Bawn.

"Your offer, sir, is very good, And I thank you too," said I,
"But I cannot be your son-in-law, And I'll tell you the reason why:
My business calleth me in haste, For I'm the king's servant bound,
And I must gang awa' this day, Straight to Edinboro' town."

O, Peggy Bawn, you are my own, Your heart lies in my breast;
And though we at a distance are, Yet I love you still the best:
Although we at a distance are, And the seas between us roar,
Yet I'll be constant, Peggy Bawn, To you for evermore.


#5 from More Irish Street Ballads, by Colm O Lochlainn (1965, Three Candles, Ltd. - 1978 Pan Books edition)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 01:21 AM

On Walter Pardon's Topic LP "A Country Life" this song is still called "Peggy Bawn" not "Peggy Benn", as is Peter Bellamy's version on "The First Folk Review Record". On the Voice of the People series, songs names get changed/corrected from the original albums quite often. But however the spelling, it simply means fair-haired Peggy.

Mike Yates wrote in the sleeve notes of "A Country Life":
Several English broadside printers also included the song among their wares usually calling it Peggy Band. When I asked Walter why he used the spelling "Bawn" (rather than, say, "Bann") he told me that, during the war, a visiting Irishman hat spelt it thus when he had queried the point with him.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 02:49 PM

The song is pretty old. There are plenty of 18thc printings in garlands etc. The earliest I have seen is printed at Aldermary Churchyard by the Dicey-Marshall dynasty, so probably about mid century. Even in stall copies the titles vary Band, Bond, Bann, Bawn.

The 'Molly Bawn' intro line at the top of this thread is misleading.

Ooops! I meant to remove the Molly Bawn reference. I did now. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 03:05 PM

Have to say I've never heard it sung - which is unusual for anything in O Lochlainn.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Peggy Bann / Peggy Bawn
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 03:23 PM

Me too, Martin!


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