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The trees they do grow high: medieval?

DigiTrad:
BONNY BOY
DAILY GROWING
DAILY GROWING (BONNY BOY IS YOUNG OR TREES GROW HIGH, ETC.)
LADY MARY ANN
THE YOUNG LAIRD OF CRAIGSTON
THE YOUNG LAIRD OF CRAIGSTOUN


Related threads:
Penguin: The Trees They Grow So High (14)
Tune Add: All the trees they do grow high (7)
Chord Req: The Trees They Do Grow High... (Carthy) (19)
Lyr Req: The Trees They Grow High (from Pentangle) (22)
Lyr Req: Lang a Growin' (16)
Lyr Req: My Laddie's Bedside (9)


Stower 13 Feb 16 - 10:56 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Feb 16 - 10:46 PM
Stower 14 Feb 16 - 08:08 AM
Jack Campin 14 Feb 16 - 09:14 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Feb 16 - 02:54 PM
Jack Campin 14 Feb 16 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Mike O'Leary-Johns 14 Feb 16 - 04:46 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Feb 16 - 05:01 PM
Jack Campin 14 Feb 16 - 07:28 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Feb 16 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Dave 15 Feb 16 - 04:22 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 16 - 11:24 AM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 16 - 01:05 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 16 - 01:17 PM
Stower 16 Feb 16 - 01:40 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Feb 16 - 02:48 PM
Jack Campin 17 Feb 16 - 10:14 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Feb 16 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Mrr 17 Feb 16 - 08:19 PM
Stower 18 Feb 16 - 05:36 AM
Stower 18 Feb 16 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 18 Feb 16 - 07:46 AM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 16 - 08:03 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Feb 16 - 10:58 AM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 16 - 11:01 AM
Mrrzy 18 Feb 16 - 11:10 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Feb 16 - 01:43 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Feb 16 - 01:45 PM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 16 - 02:01 PM
Mrrzy 18 Feb 16 - 07:02 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 16 - 08:53 PM
Jack Campin 18 Feb 16 - 09:38 PM
Stower 18 Feb 16 - 10:05 PM
Brian Peters 19 Feb 16 - 07:57 AM
Brian Peters 19 Feb 16 - 08:03 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Feb 16 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Dave 19 Feb 16 - 11:34 AM
Brian Peters 19 Feb 16 - 12:21 PM
Mrrzy 19 Feb 16 - 01:12 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 16 - 02:57 PM
Stower 19 Feb 16 - 05:25 PM
Mrrzy 20 Feb 16 - 12:03 AM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 16 - 03:32 PM
Brian Peters 21 Feb 16 - 04:00 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Feb 16 - 05:37 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Feb 16 - 05:47 PM
Brian Peters 23 Feb 16 - 04:47 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Feb 16 - 01:31 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Feb 16 - 02:22 PM
Brian Peters 23 Feb 16 - 02:37 PM
FreddyHeadey 23 Feb 16 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Dave 25 Feb 16 - 04:52 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 16 - 07:20 AM
toadfrog 23 Jul 16 - 10:04 PM
Stower 27 Jul 16 - 02:02 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Jul 16 - 05:14 PM
Richie 30 Aug 16 - 09:13 PM
Richie 30 Aug 16 - 09:25 PM
Richie 30 Aug 16 - 10:56 PM
Richie 30 Aug 16 - 11:27 PM
Richie 31 Aug 16 - 12:59 AM
Richie 31 Aug 16 - 01:17 AM
Richie 31 Aug 16 - 11:38 AM
Richie 31 Aug 16 - 04:18 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 16 - 04:38 PM
Richie 31 Aug 16 - 10:57 PM
Richie 31 Aug 16 - 11:16 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Sep 16 - 02:39 AM
Richie 01 Sep 16 - 10:58 AM
Richie 01 Sep 16 - 11:06 AM
Richie 01 Sep 16 - 11:11 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Sep 16 - 03:28 PM
Richie 01 Sep 16 - 03:55 PM
Richie 01 Sep 16 - 04:02 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Sep 16 - 05:29 PM
Richie 01 Sep 16 - 05:53 PM
Richie 02 Sep 16 - 10:43 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Sep 16 - 10:57 AM
Richie 02 Sep 16 - 03:17 PM
Richie 03 Sep 16 - 10:02 AM
Richie 03 Sep 16 - 11:04 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Sep 16 - 02:59 PM
Richie 03 Sep 16 - 10:24 PM
Richie 03 Sep 16 - 10:39 PM
GUEST,Richie 08 Sep 16 - 12:13 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Sep 16 - 06:37 AM
Richie 16 Sep 16 - 02:13 PM
Richie 16 Sep 16 - 02:23 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 16 - 04:11 PM
Richie 28 Sep 16 - 03:49 PM
hsempl 28 Sep 16 - 06:44 PM
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hsempl 29 Sep 16 - 11:04 PM
Richie 30 Sep 16 - 12:43 PM
Reinhard 30 Sep 16 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Sep 16 - 01:57 PM
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Subject: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 13 Feb 16 - 10:56 AM

The trees they do grow high: a ballad of medieval arranged marriage? This traditional song has attracted repeated claims of medieval origins. Can they be substantiated? This new article investigates, with a performance of the song on medieval harp.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Feb 16 - 10:46 PM

very interesting blog, I've bookmarked it, thanks for posting the article

sandra


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 08:08 AM

Thank you, Sandra.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 09:14 AM

Any similar info on the history of the tune?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 02:54 PM

Are you sure you mean medieval? Even the few ballads that are set in medieval times probably originated in the early modern period and even then we're only talking about a handful of ballads and not many more beyond 1550.

If the ballad indeed does relate to any real event then the most commonly accepted theory is it relates to an event that happened to the Laird of Craigton c1634 but it may well be older than that. However it is highly unlikely that the ballad itself is medieval. As for the story, well I suppose it's possible that could be much older. Certainly some of the stories told in the ballads can be traced back to medieval times, but not in ballad form in English.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 03:37 PM

Haven't you read the linked article?

I asked about the tune because it does have archaic features - that descending shape isn't common in tunes of recent centuries (another one like it is Leith Wynd, first notated around 1700).


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Mike O'Leary-Johns
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 04:46 PM

I am sure I heard it said it was one of the most travelled songs.
Having originated in Eastern Europe and travelled widely.
Eventually reaching these shores.
I sing the song myself...From the singing of Joe Heaney.
That's why the comment stuck in my mind. Mike


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 05:01 PM

Hi Jack,
No I hadn't read the article. Some nice detail but it doesn't add anything to what we know. Did you write it?

I couldn't possibly comment on the tune. You may well have something but even if the tune has some medieval traits it doesn't really say anything about the lyric.

One thing seems certain to me: That extra verse on Lady Mary Ann was a recent poetic addition, probably Burns's contribution. It has nothing in common with the folk lyrics of the rest of the ballad.

One of the most beautiful ballads in our language in my opinion, and a pity Child hadn't got it. It's top of my list for the ones that got away.

Regarding Roy's comment about the 17thc reference, Roy did sometimes repeat things he'd seen in print and if Bert was the writer....say no more!


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 07:28 PM

No, I didn't write it. Ian Pittaway (Stower here) did, and I think he did a good job.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 12:42 AM

"Having originated in Eastern Europe and travelled widely.
Eventually reaching these shores."

.,,.
That is said by some of many songs & tales. There was even a book pub'd some years ago by some woman whose name eludes me [it might still be on my shelves somewhere at that, becoz I think I remember even having reviewed it somewhere], urging the thesis that every single one of our songs & tales has an identifiable ancient oriental analogue. There seems to be competition among some 'authorities' in endeavouring to outdo one another in the 'discovery' of ever more esoteric origins; + no shortage of publishers willing to air such absurdities in the public prints to what they appear to imagine to be an ∞·ly gullible readership..

Pinch-o'-salt time, if you ask me! Or, as someone remarked, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 04:22 AM

As with all of Ian's articles it is well researched and presented. A comment that "it doesn't add anything to what we know" really isn't helpful, because a) some people did not know that at all, and b) Ian's articles present evidence, and then draw conclusions from the evidence, rather than trying to fit evidence around preconceived opinions.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 11:24 AM

Completely agree with your 'pinch of salt' comment, Mike. Too much of this has gone on in the past. If there's any truth in it let's see the evidence.

Apologies to Ian and Dave. I didn't mean to be dismissive. It is as you say well researched and presented and I have to agree with your second point.

None of the ballads that are supposed to refer to a particular historic incident prior to 1700 get all the facts right. Probably because most of them were written well after that incident and are based on hearsay, so we should not be looking for full accuracy when looking for a ballad origin. All we really need is that enough of the facts fit that specific incident as opposed to any other known incident. So we can very rarely deal with precise matching details.
We also need to factor in bias, often political bias. The ballad writers are just as fallible as the book authors, if not moreso.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 01:05 PM

None of the ballads that are supposed to refer to a particular historic incident prior to 1700 get all the facts right.

How about this ballad on the murder of Thomas Becket?

http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/Songs/Becket.html

It doesn't go into a lot of detail but surely the details it does provide are pretty much right?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 01:17 PM

Sorry, Jack, I meant ballads from oral tradition, which is what we usually talk about here.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 01:40 PM

Thank you, Jack and Dave, for replying to Steve for me before I'd seen the comments.

I must add, though, that I did a lot of work on the article to bring new research to the song in reply to the comments above that there's nothing new in it. The evidence is partly in the green links in the article. If anyone else has traced the birth and death records of the family to test the veracity of the claims that the song is about a real family, and thereby critiqued A. L. Lloyd's oft-repeated claims about the family circumstances, or given historical detail to show that the basis for the claim to the song being medieval has no basis whatever, then I'm certainly not aware of it.

As I say in the article, the beautiful tune Martin Carthy uses is my tune, and I've never heard anyone do it quite like him, so I suspect the elongated refrains are his own invention. I'd like to know myself. If anyone has more information, I'd like to know.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 02:48 PM

Like I said,Ian, 'some nice detail'. All I meant by 'not adding to our knowledge' was that most ballad scholars, if not all, are happy to accept the Craigton origin, but of course we welcome putting more meat on the bones. Anyone (IMO) nowadays who repeats anything Bert Lloyd claimed loses all credibility.

I doubt if anyone has gone into the historical detail as much as you have and I certainly commend you for this unreservedly.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 10:14 AM

Your version of the tune's opening phrase starts with an upward leap, which is normal for minor-mode tunes in the British Isles. The distinctive version I was thinking of doesn't - it starts high and descends, which is often thought of as an archaic melodic shape. The two tunes are obviously related but I'd bet the purely descending one is older.

I wondered if there is any record of the tune being used for something else, maybe in a liturgical context.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 04:35 PM

Jack,
What is the main source of this tune that starts high and descends? I only know it from the singing of Ian Manuel but I think it comes ultimately from the Scottish travellers, Jeannie Robertson perhaps. I seem to remember Isobel Sutherland also sang it. For what it's worth, and I'm no expert on tunes and their origins, I think it is very uncharacteristic of ballads and if pushed would guess it had some sort of artistic origin in the 18th century. The few versions of the tune I've just looked at from Scottish sources (Greig-Duncan, Christie) don't appear to bear any resemblance and start low.

As I've already said, I love the tune and think it fits the text beautifully despite the lack of minor key.

As a little experiment I tried diddling it in jig time and it sounded remarkably like George Morris's The Moss o' Burreldale, Not the 'Tinker's Wadding' one. Perhaps that's where Morris got it from.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 08:19 PM

Fascinating. I never noticed before, but the looking over the castle wall at the three lads playing ball is the same as in the song where the protagonist has killed her children and it is their ghosts back playing... The Cruel Mother, I believe is one of the names of that ballad. Are there yet others where the lady looks over the castle wall and spies boys playing ball?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 05:36 AM

Thank you, Steve. If I've read your message right, you have read my article as backing the idea of ballad scholars that the song originates in the Urquhart story, whereas I go to great lengths with original research, with birth and death records linked in the article, to question the validity of this idea. The section about the family's story reads:

"If we question the validity of Maidment's and Spalding's connection of the song with the Urquharts and stop trying so hard to find connections, it is by no means clear that The Young Laird of Craigstoun is based on true events. The song gives no specific names or dates; there is no evidence of a forced marriage in the family as there is in the song; no betrothal of a young woman to a boy; and therefore no one was sent away for education until he was old enough to marry. There was a marriage with a large age gap in the family [common enough], though not the same marriage as the imputed subject of the song and the gap was the reverse of that described in the ballad; and there was a father who died the year after the birth of his son. Put this way, the link of the ballad to an actual young laird of Craigstoun is either tenuous or highly confused. [*]If[*] the connection is real, the originating events have been overlaid with a thick patina of fantasy."

And later:

"Certainty is impossible but, as folk songs go, names like "Lady Mary Ann", "my lady Dundonald", and "young Craigstoun" could be as interchangeable in the development of a song as names of battlefields, seas and monarchs, and may be chosen at random from the living, the dead or the entirely fictitious, as was the Duke of Bedford."

The beautiful tune is intriguing. Martin Carthy has a talent for digging out words and tunes others have missed, and also for adding his own words or melodies without comment or giving himself any credit. I wonder if that's what he did here. Certainly, I've not come across the tune quite he way he did it anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 05:48 AM

Hello, Mrr. I wonder what your specific interest is in the detail. If you can say, we may be able to answer your question more precisely. As I see it, the line you mention is one of those standardised wordings in traditional song that appears in many otherwise unrelated ballads, like the rolling eye, the slender waist, going to a lonesome valley, etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 07:46 AM

What is the main source of this tune that starts high and descends? I only know it from the singing of Ian Manuel but I think it comes ultimately from the Scottish travellers, Jeannie Robertson perhaps.

I first encountered it when singing round the piano with some friends of the family in New Zealand in the mid-60s - it was in a book they had, and I can't remember what. So it wasn't Jeannie Robertson who made it known.

As you say, it's not what most ballad tunes do. It's still one of the standard patterns in Near Eastern music, but seems to have dropped out of currency further west.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 08:03 AM

The tune Ian is using is in 'The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs', collected by Lucy Broadwood from Mrs Joiner in Herefordshire.
It was published in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society in 1915, so perhaps Martin got it from there.

Is there somewhere we can see or hear the 'descending' tune that Jack Campin has mentioned?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 10:58 AM

Hi Brian,
Yes, that's the well-known tune I used to hear a lot on the folk scene in the 60s. I can't say I remember Martin singing it.

I will have a closer look for the source of the descending tune after the weekend. I have lots of recordings I can listen to of traditional singers. I'm a bit busy at the moment preparing for Saturday's Broadside Day in Manchester. Meanwhile it must be on one of Ian (Jock) Manual's 2 albums.

Ian,
Questioniing the validity of any theory is something dear to my own heart. However, as I said earlier a ballad written perhaps in the 18th century based on half remembered facts from a century earlier is a common occurrence. Until a better match comes forward for the song's origins it is enough to say the ballad could be based on the 1634 story even if some of the facts don't stand up to detailed scrutiny. I doubt very much if Johnny Armstrong, Earl of Cassilis Lady or any of the border ballads match up with the facts accurately. They have all been romanticised and politicised.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 11:01 AM

See you in Manchester, Steve.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 11:10 AM

Stower, I just noticed it. And to me, looking over the castle wall may be general and spying boys playing ball may be general, but the two together seem a little more precise... and I think it interesting, sorry about the thread creep, this is a fascinating discussion on its own, but since we were dissecting the song, maybe not so creepy after all?

The question of whether Trees Grow High was a *particular* arranged marriage had not occurred to me, but so many of the murder ballads I sing turn out to be about specific people when researched on the Mudcat, I would not be surprised if someone figured out whose.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 01:43 PM

Hi Mrrzy,
You were quite right to point this out and it is relevant. The thought had crossed my mind once or twice when listening to the song. Off the top of my head I can't think of any other ballads where the 2 motifs combine except for this one and The Cruel Mother so it could just be that the image of boys playing at ball was a common one and the looking over the castle wall is a widespread commonplace in ballads. However the English broadside ballad, The Cruel Mother (Child 20) is late 17th century and in Scotland it acquired stanzas from Child 21 during the 18th century, not found in any English versions, so the lifting of an image from Child 20 into our ballad here would not be at all surprising. The Gentry in Scotland and later Scots editors frequently moved material from one ballad into another so it was accepted practice. Personally I think many of the so-called commonplaces were the result of this mixing and matching rather than oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 01:45 PM

Good to see you in Manchester, Brian! I think I owe you a pint anyway.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 02:01 PM

Almost certainly, Steve! ;-)


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 07:02 PM

Coolio!


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 08:53 PM

Child Maurice also has looking over the castle wall, and playing at the ball.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 09:38 PM

This is the way I remember the descending tune (title from the first line, this is the last verse):

X:1
T:Father dear father you've done to me great wrong
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:EMin
  z | e2e   e2e |d3  (dc)B|A2c  B2 A|E3- E
w:At the age of six-teen* he was a marr-ied man
(EF)| G2G   G2A |B2B (BA)G|A2B (AG)F|E3- E2
w:and* at the age of sev-en-teen* the fath-er of* a son
  z | e3    e2e |d3   dcB |A2c  B2 A|E3- E
w:At the age of eight-een the grass grew ov-er him
 z2 | E2F   G2A |G2F  E3  |D2D HE3  |B3- B2||
w:and* death* put an end to his grow-ing.
  z | e3    e3  |d3  (dc)B|A2c  B2 A|E3- E
w:Grow-ing, grow-ing,* the grass grew ov-er him
 z2 |(E2F) (G2A)|G2F  E3  |D2D HE3  |B3- B2|]
w:and* death* put an end to his grow-ing.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 10:05 PM

Well, thank you all. What a very interesting discussion this is turning out to be.

Brian, just to check, since I don't have a copy of 'The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs' or The Journal of the Folk-Song Society in 1915 to look myself, is the tune I sing, derived from Martin Carthy, exactly (or near enough) as sung by Mrs Joiner in Herefordshire to Lucy Broadwood, with its elongated refrain, with that not added by Martin? If so, I will amend my article to say so. And thank you for pointing it out.

Steve, you're quite right, of course: any ballad that gets its historical facts all correct isn't a ballad. It's in their nature to dramatise and fabricate. In that way, I think they're rather like cinematic treatments of, for example, William Wallace, not letting the facts get in the way of dramatic additions that sell the story (in both cases, literally sell the story). Then, of course, once the song enters the oral tradition, there are the inevitable mishearings, memory slips, pushing of perspectives and unconscious accretions from other ballads. It's just that, in the case of this song, the link with any actual person seems *so* tenuous that I wonder if it was ever truly there to begin with. I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure.   

Mrrzy, no apology necessary, and thank you for pointing out the link with playing boys and castle walls.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 07:57 AM

Hi Stower. What you sing is a lot like the Carthy / Joiner version, except that you only repeat the word 'Growing' once, instead of twice.

Carthy's 'Trees'

Here's the Joiner tune, in Lucy Broadwood's hand, from The Full English (click on thumbnail for image). If that is indeed Martin's source then he has spun out the first long note in the refrain for an additional bar.

Mrs Joiner's 'Trees'

I've now been through all of the English tunes in Full English - a cursory search, not definitive by any menas - and I can tell you that, although there are lots of variants to more or less the same tune (although it moves between dorian, mixolydian and ionian modes), very few of them have a refrain of any kind, and sometimes that's just a repeat of the last line. There's one tune from Frank Kidson's MS that looks like it might have the 'Growing... Growing' refrain, but there are no words set to it as far as I can find. Oh hang on, I've found it in the Folk Song Society Journal for 1906 with the words, and it's not that refrain. Interesting one, though. In fact there are all kinds of good ' alternative' versions of the song out there if you go looking.

Thanks, Jack, for the abc of the descending tune. I can't see anything like that in Full English either - in fact what it looks like is an altered version of the Joiner tune. If I had to guess I'd say that it's a revival adaptation, possibly deliberate, possibly not.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 08:03 AM

Regarding ball games, Mrs Joiner's 'Trees' actually has 'playing at bat and ball', although most of the others just have 'playing at ball'. Perhaps cricket was popular in Herefordshire at the time.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 08:47 AM

Surely the most spectacular version of the song was that MacColl sand on the Riverside series -
Pat once sang it in a singing session during the Willie Clancy School here in Miltown Malbay back in the seventies
Half an hour later, Seamus Ennis came in and a singer from Cork said to him: "This woman has a beautiful version of "Long a-Growing".
Without hesitation, Ennis replied "I have a better one".
That was Seamus for you
Jim Carroll

The trees they are ivied, the leaves they are green,
The times they are past that we hae seen;
In the lang winter nicht, it's I maun lie my lane
For my bonnie laddie's lang, lang a-growing.

"O faither, dear farther, ye had dune me muckle wrang,   
For you hae wedded me to a lad that's ower young;
For he is but twelve and I am thirteen,
And my bonnie laddie's lang, lang a-growing. "

"O dochter, dear dochter, I hae dune ye nae rang,
For I hae wedded you tae a noble lord's son;
And he shall be the laird and you shall wait on,
And a' the time your lad'll be a-growing. "

"O faither, dear faither, if ye think it will fit,
We'll send him tae the scule for a year twa yet,
And we'll tie a green ribbon aroon aboot his bonnet
And that'll be a token that he's married.

"O faither, dear faither, and if it pleases you,
I'll cut my lang hair abune my broo;
And vestcoat and breeks I'll gladly put on,
And 1 tae the scule will gang wi' him."

She's made him a sark o' the holland sae fine,
And she has skew'd it wi' her fingers ain,
And ay she loot the tears doon   fall,
Saying, "My bonnie laddie's lang, lang a-growing."

In his twelfth year he was a married man,
And in his thirteenth he had gotten her a son,
And in his fourteenth his grave it grew green,
And that put an end tae his growing


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 11:34 AM

Ian, do you really mean Herefordshire rather than Hertfordshire, or is that just a typo. Brian's link says Chiswell Green, Hertfordshire.

The earliest reference to cricket in Hertfordshire is from 1732, but it wasn't ever really well established there (even now its only a minor county). Before the 1830s cricket was really only popular south of the Thames.

Some variant of rounders is probably more likely.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 12:21 PM

Oops, it was me that misread 'Hertfordshire'.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 01:12 PM

In one version, the boy is a Geordie's son, I think... if that helps with the identification of the initial marriage. But that could be a mondegreen.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 02:57 PM

Guest, Child Maurice, not really. It does have the commonplace looking over the castle wall but depending on which version you look at she either sees Child Maurice's severed head or has it thrown into her lap and Steward tells her she can use it as a ball. Not quite the same thing though as 4 and 20 ladies playing at the ball, indeed somewhat opposite. As this cruel taunt is not in the 17th century English version some Scottish poetaster was possibly influenced by one or other of our 2 ballads under discussion.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 05:25 PM

Brian, thank you so much for being so helpful and thorough. When I arranged the song I deliberately didn't look it up, just to see what came out in the process. In the past I've sung Martin Carthy's version, Walter Pardon's and one I found in a book but now can't remember which, and suspected I would unconsciously amalgamate something from all. As I remember it, Walter truncated the lines of the melody somewhat, but I had no idea I'd done the same to Mrs. Joiner's / Martin's melody until you pointed it out. I'm very grateful, and will amend the article with the new information.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 16 - 12:03 AM

(I'm reminded of the ghostly guards choosing up sides to kick the queen around the hall with her head tucked underneath her arm)


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 16 - 03:32 PM

Still looking for the origins of the descending tune. It's a very marked abba tune if that's any help. (And no, it's not called 'Waterloo' before some smartarse quips in)


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Feb 16 - 04:00 PM

If you're talking about the same tune Jack gave us as an abc, Steve, it looks like ABAB to me.

It also looks very like the Joiner tune with the first phrase of the refrain copied and pasted as the first and third lines of the verse - and more and more like a revival creation.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Feb 16 - 05:37 PM

The performances I remember were definitely abba. I don't do abc so I'm not sure how Jack's tune goes. I'll have another go at finding it. Pretty sure it was Scottish although I have heard Irish singers sing it this way. The descent is on the first 6 notes
'Oh the trees they do grow' drops an octave in the first 5 notes.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Feb 16 - 05:47 PM

Okay, found it. I don't think Isabel Sutherland sang any revival creations though I don't know yet where she got it. It sounds very Jeannie Robertson style to me. You can hear it on the BLSA website or just Google 'Isabel Sutherland Bonny Boy' and go to the British Library option. I think it is a Peter Kennedy recording.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 04:47 AM

My first attempt to Google 'Isabel Sutherland Bonny Boy' got me to a chap playing 'I Once Had a Boy' on the euphonium (rather well, actually), but I finally tracked down the BL recording. Not the same as Jack's abc, but I recognized it immediately. No, that one doesn't sound like a revival recreation. I don't have a great library of Scots song books, or Greig Duncan etc, but I've got the Lizzie Higgins version and it's not that. Is it possible Isabel Sutherland was the source? I don't know much about her own sources.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 01:31 PM

AS I said, Ian Jock Manuel sang it and most of his sources were the Scots travellers, Jimmie McBeath, Davy Stewart.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 02:22 PM

Jim Carroll has been on this thread once already and tis 2 recordings of his that have the very tune. Brian, go to the Songs of Clare website and look for the Tom Lenihan recording (Milltown Malbay) and Vincie Boyle (Mullagh). If I remember rightly Ian Manuel was born in Belfast but brought up in Glasgow. Plenty of Irish influence there. So perhaps despite Jock and Isabel we were looking in the wrong place.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 02:37 PM

Mystery solved, well done Steve.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 03:58 PM

re Steve's post

The Trees They Grew High
(Laws O35; Roud 31)
Pat MacNamara
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/the_trees_they_grew_high_pmcnamara.htm



The Trees They Grew High
(Laws O35; Roud 31)
Vincie Boyle
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/the_trees_they_grew_high_vboyle.htm


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 25 Feb 16 - 04:52 AM

Just noticed on Ian's site a new article on "Sumer is Icumen In", worth reading (and maybe worth posting a summary here Ian).


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 16 - 07:20 AM

I never tire of saying that I believe it very unwise to attempt to date such songs as this only as far back as our knowledge of folk songs, which basically is to the beginning of the twentieth century - anything we know, or think we know predating that is far to circumstantial to even base a guess on, let alone made definitive statements and claims. The practice of arranged marriage almost certainly pre - dates reliable recorded history and continued uninterrupted almost to the present day in these islands - it is likely that it still occurs in some communities - we have certainly witnessed and recorded evidence of it.
Ireland's first falling into the hands of a foreign power in 1169 was consummated by an arranged marriage.
Versions of songs are pretty much like a photographs of running horses - we have no idea where their journeys began nor what point of they had reached when the shot was taken.
The song presents no information, not even a name; the ages are totally immaterial.
Print is no indication, particularly at a time when literacy meant little for the overwhelming majority of the population, particularly among those from the class where these songs proliferated.
Rather than speculating on not very coincidental 'coincidences', it is far safer to assume that songs like this are links in a very long chain from an unknown foundry - songmaking has been around far too long to assume otherwise.
As an old singer told us a couple of years ago "if a man farted in church, somebody made a song about it.
Sorry to bang on about this - waiting for some soundfiles to load down.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: toadfrog
Date: 23 Jul 16 - 10:04 PM

1. The other threads which mention this song say the song comes from an actual event: the bonny boy (Craigston) died in 1634, and that the marriage was not only arranged but was a blatant theft of the boy's inheritance by the girl's father.
@displaysong.cfm?SongID=10359

2. I have often wondered why this song was never included as a Popular Ballad. Does anyone know?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Stower
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 02:02 PM

Yes, toadfrog, that has often been claimed but, as the article shows in some detail, it cannot be true.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 05:14 PM

Toadfrog,
To attempt an answer to your second question I presume you mean by 'Popular Ballad' a Child Ballad. Only guessing but I doubt if FJC was aware of it. Had he been he might well have included it: Regardless of its possible ancestry it has many of the hallmarks of a popular ballad, and IMHO many of the ballads he did include have very doubtful ancestry as he often commented on himself. Many of the higher numbered ballads can't be traced back any earlier than 1800.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 30 Aug 16 - 09:13 PM

Hi,

I started looking at this ballad. The Burns date I have 1787 not 1792 (as per Motherwell). Obviously the two stanzas from Herd are used literally by Burns, who wrote the rest-- stanzas which certainly are not traditional to this ballad.

Why did Burns attribute the song to a lady in Burns tour of N. Scotland? Which is why it has been suggested that Burn's Lady Mary Ann was collected.

I am puzzled about how Motherwell's text that was traditionally preserved in the west of Scotland and apparently pre-dates the MS of Robert Scott, of Glenbucket (The Young Laird of Craigstoun, which one source has as 1823) is not included in the article.

Motherwell gives a stanza and it's later published in full as "the old ballad." It begins:

The trees they are ivied, the leaves they are green, &c

Just wondering?

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 30 Aug 16 - 09:25 PM

Also isn't "The Young Laird of Craigstoun" a rewrite of "Craigston's Growing" since Scott's MS is thus found in The Glenbuchat Ballads?

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 30 Aug 16 - 10:56 PM

Hi,

According to Cunningham: "An old ballad, called "Craigton's growing," was chanted to him[Burns] in one of his Highland excursions. . ."

Since the ballad was not know by that name at that time- this comment seems authentic.

Even though Burns got the first two stanzas from Herd's MS, stanzas 5 and 6 correspond to "Craigston's Growing":

"Craigston's Growing" before 1818; from The Glenbuchat Ballads; edited by David Buchan, James Moreira

1. The trees they are high and the leaves they are green
The days are awa that I hae seen
But better days I thought wou'd come again
An' my bonny, bonny boy was growin

2. I've been climbing a tree that's too high for me.
I've been seeking fruit thats nae growin.
I've been seeking hot water beneath the cold ice
An' against the stream I've been rowin.

3. Father she said, you've done me much wrang
You've wedded to a young, young man
I'd have wedded ane wid staff in his han
'Afore I had wedded a Boy.

4. O Daughter I did you no wrong
For the wedding you to o'er young a man
You've your tocher in your ain han'
An' your bonny love daily growin

5 O father if ye think it fit
We'll send him a year to the College yet
We'll tie a green ribbon around his hat
To let them ken that he's married
Four & Twenty cambric braids she had plait
An' sent to College wi him.

6. She lookit o'er her father's castle wa'
Saw four & Twenty bonny boys playin at the ba'
But her ain love was foremost amang them a'
Young Craigston's daily growin

7. In's fourteenth year he was a married man
In's fifteenth year he had a young son.
In's Sixteenth year his grave grew green
Alas! for Craigston's growin

8. The Trees are high & the leaves are green
The days are awa that I hae seen
An' anither may be welcome where I hae happy been
Tak up young Craigston's growin

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 30 Aug 16 - 11:27 PM

Here's the excerpt from Spalding (1792) and then the whole quote-- where he's called "this young boy":

The laird of Innes (whose sister was married to this John Urquhart of Leathers) and not without her consent, as was thought, gets the guiding of this young boy, and without advice of friends, shortly and quietly married him upon her own eldest daughter Elizabeth Innes.

The history of the troubles and memorable transactions in Scotland, by John Spalding, 1792

Ye heard before of the death of John Urquhart of Craigstoun, and how his eldest son John Urquhart of Leathers shortly followed; his son again departs this life upon the last of November instant. Thus in three years space the goodsire, son, and oy, died. It is said this young man's father willed him to be good to Mary Innes his spouse, and to pay all his debts, because he was young and had a good estate, whereunto his goodsire had provided him; the young boy mourning past his promise so to do, then he desires the laird of Cromartie being present to be no worse tutor to his son than his father had been to him, and to help to fee his debts paid, being then above 40,000 pounds, for the whilk several gentlemen in the country were heavily engaged as cautioners. The laird of Innes (whose sister was married to this John Urquhart of Leathers) and not without her consent, as was thought, gets the guiding of this young boy, and without advice of friends, shortly and quietly married him upon her own eldest daughter Elizabeth Innes. Now Leathers' creditors cry out for payment against the cautioners; the cautioners crave Craigstoun, and the laird of Innes his father in law (who had also the government of his estate) for their relief. The young man was well pleased to pay his father's debt, according to his promise, albeic he was neither heir nor executor to him. Yet his goodfather, seeing he could not be compelled by law to pay his father's debt, would in noways consent thereto; there followed great outcrying against him; friends met and trysted; at last it resolved in this, the creditors compelled the cautioners to pay them completely to the hazard of the sum of their estates, a'ld they got some relies, others little or none, which made the distressed gentlemen to pray many maledictions, which touched the young man's conscience, albeit he could not mend it. And so through melancholy, as was thought, he contracts a consuming sickness, whereof he died, leaving a son behind him called John, in the keeping of his mother, and left the laird of Innes and her to be his tutors, without advice of his own kindred, which is remarkable, considering the great care and worldly conquest of his goodsire to make up an estate to fall in the government of strangers. This youth deceased in the place of Innes, and was buried beside his father in his goodsire's isle in Kinedwart.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 12:59 AM

Hi,

After a brief study I believe "this young boy" to be Alexander Brodie (Lord Brodie) who at the age of 17 married on 28th October, 1635, Elizabeth Innes, widow of John Urquhart, of Craigston, tutor of Cromarty, who d. 30th November, 1634. Alexander also had a debt of 40,000 pounds (see above). His wife was two or three years older.

John Urquhart and Elizabeth Innes had a son, Sir John Urquhart b. 1633, d. 1678, who she would have raised after her husband's death (he died when his son was one).

The ballad and John Spalding have mixed the facts.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 01:17 AM

This quote might also explain- sending him off to College- which is similar to what happened when he was sent to school in England:

History of Nairnshire
By George Bain, 1893

Alexander, the young Laird of Brodie, Lethen's nephew, who became Lord Brodie, had been sent into England when eleven years old for his education, and returned in 1632 on his father's death, and by special dispensation from the Lords of Council was declared of age (he was but nineteen years), and served heir to the estates in 1636. While yet a minor, he married Elizabeth Innes, widow of John Urquhart of Craigston, Tutor of Cromarty, and daughter of Sir Robert Innes of Innes, by Lady Grizzel Stuart, daughter of James, the Bonnie Earl of Moray.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 11:38 AM

This is Motherwell's text c. 1819 but said to be an old version. Stenhouse also corroborates the 1787 date for Burns recreation based on a lady he heard singing "Craigton's [sic] growing." This was reprint by Ord (Bothy Songs) without attribution.

MY BONNIE LADDIE'S LANG O' GROWING

The trees they are ivied, the leaves they are green.
The days are a' awa that I hae seen,
On the cauld winter nights I ha'e to lie my lane,
For my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing.

O father dear, you have done me great wrong,
You have wedded me to a boy that's too young,
He is scarce twelve, and I'm but thirteen,
And my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing.

O daughter dear, I have done you no wrong,
I have wedded you to a noble lord's son.
He'll be the lord, and ye'll wait on,
And your bonnie laddie's daily growing.

O father dear, if you think it fit,
We'll send him to the college a year or twa yet;
We'll tie a green ribbon round about his bar,
And that will be a token that he's married.

And O father dear, if this pleaseth you,
I will cut my hair ahoon my brow:
Coat, vest, and breeches I will put on.
And I to the college will go wi' him.

She's made him shirts o' the Holland sae fine,
And wi' her ain hands she sewed the same;
And aye the tears came trickling down.
Saying, my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing.

In his twelfth year he was a married man,
And in his thirteenth he had his auld son,
And in his fourteenth his grave it was green,
Sae that put an end to his growing.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 04:18 PM

Hi,

Alexander Brodie was admitted to King's College in 1631.[Anderson Alumni p. 11]. He would have been 14 at the time.

5 O father if ye think it fit
We'll send him a year to the College yet
We'll tie a green ribbon around his hat
To let them ken that he's married
Four & Twenty cambric braids she had plait
An' sent to College wi him.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this information. I might start another thread.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 04:38 PM

It's perfectly fine here, Richie.
Some excellent research as usual.
I would ask for a summary and your opinions when you have finished.
Personally I see no reason to dispute the connection with the historic facts.

The only caution I would give is that a lot of ballad writing and rewriting went on in the 18th and early 19th century in Scotland and some of the editors you have mentioned are the prime suspects. There were ballad brokers going around selling versions to the collectors and they were rewriting and editing them and passing them on to their friends. Even Motherwell was involved in this before he saw the light and wrote his memorable introduction.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 10:57 PM

Hi Steve,

When Ian's article (Stower) pointed out that the John Urquhart of Cragiston was older than his wife, Elizabeth Innes, the only juvenile husband was Alexander Brodie, her second husband who was 17 at the time of marriage in 1935.

Elizabeth Innes was the oldest child of the marriage Dec. 18, 1611 of Sir Robert Innees and Grizel Stuart (Stewart). I have a date of 1613 for her birth, there are also dates given of 1621 which makes no sense. The most telling reason is 1621 is 10 years after their marriage.

Regardless of the difficult genealogical dates, this is what I think happened:

1) John Urquhart of Cragiston (b. 1611) married Elizabeth Innes (b. 1613)

2) They had issue in 1633 one child, Sir John Urquhart d. 1678

3) On Nov. 30, 1634 John died leaving a son.

4) In 1635 Alexander Brodie who attended King's College and who had returned because of the death of his father, at the age of 17 married Elizabeth Innes.

5) For whatever reason, probably because of his young age, he was   "shortly and quietly" married "upon her own eldest daughter Elizabeth Innes" [see Spalding]

6) After the death of her husband (John Urquhart) it was possible that her father Sir Robert Innes obliged her to marry young Alexander.

The balladeer would have these facts: Young Craigston (Alexander Brodie) was a young handsome boy, he went off to college (King's College). Her father wanted her to marry this young man who she had recently watched playing ball.   

Even tho it was John who died, leaving her with a one year old son-- a balladeer could easily be transfer those facts to Alexander -- also her husband.

7. In's fourteenth year he was a married man
In's fifteenth year he had a young son.
In's Sixteenth year his grave grew green
Alas! for Craigston's growing.

the ballad is only a few years off.

Alexander and Elizabeth had two children shortly after theynmarried- it's certain that she was the love of his life- she died when he was only 23 (in 1640) and he never wanted to remarry.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 11:16 PM

Remember, Alexander's father died and he was heir to his estate but being underage could not become heir until 1636. So marrying Alexander, despite his debt, was desired for a young widow with a one year old child.

You can read The Diary of Alexander Brodie of Brodie (online), there's almost no info about his early life. Here it is in his own words:

Alexander Brodie Of Brodie, the Author of this Diary, was born the 25th of July, 1617. "1 was sent," he says, "into England, in Anno 1628, being little more than ten years old, and returned in Anno 1632, in which my Father of precious memory deceased." Of his early history we have no other particulars, excepting that in the years 1632 and 1633, he was enrolled as a Student in King's College, Aberdeen, but did not take his degree of Master of Arts. On being of age, he was served heir of his father, 19th May, 1636, by dispensation of the Lords of Council; but on the 28th of October, the previous year, he had formed a matrimonial alliance with the relict of John Urquhart of Craigston, tutor of Cromarty, who died 30th March, 1634. This lady to whom he was most devotedly attached, was Elizabeth, danghter of Sir Robert Innes of Innes, Bart., by Lady Grizzel Stewart, danghter of James, second Earl of Murray. The young Laird of Brodie, when twenty-three years of age, had to bewail the loss of his wife, who died 12th of August, 1640, leaving one son and one danghter. [David Laing, 1863]

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 02:39 AM

Other factors that might add weight to the argument, many of these ballads were written quite a long time after the event from stories and memories which would lead to the odd inaccuracy with historical fact. Also they were often written by family retainers (in earlier times we would call them household minstrels) who wished to ingratiate themselves with their sponsors/protectors/employers. This continued with the likes of Scott and Buchan, writing favourable ballads about their sponsors' ancestors, similar to Shakespeare writing plays that showed the contemporary monarch/nobility or their ancestors in good light.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 10:58 AM

Hi,

I'm adding some info about "The Young Laird of Craigstoun," published 1824 (title Maidment) from A North Countrie Garland.

James Maidment received the ballad MS on Nov. 9, 1922 from David Webster. Also this ballad is found in a C.K. Sharpe transcript (small octavo of 22 pages) at Broughton House and in the Sir Walter Scott transcript entitled, North Country Ballads. The ballad is attributed by David Buchan to James Nicol of Strichen (d.1840), who worked as a cooper and bookseller in Aberdeenshire. Nicols was an informant for Peter Buchan and Child published seven of his ballads.

Th date would be pre1822. It is unknown when and from who Nicols acquired the ballad.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 11:06 AM

Steve,

Spadling's history (used by Maidment) was written in 1792 many years after Urquhart's death in 1634 and the marriage of the "young boy" to his widow in 1635.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 11:11 AM

Correction: the date James Maidment received the ballad MS from David Webster is Nov. 9, 1822 (as per David Buchan who wrote a chapter on Nicol).

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 03:28 PM

The material in Child from Nicol amounts to more than 7 of his ballads as they were being passed around from one member of the gang to the other. Child held Nicol's contributions in great esteem almost as much as for Mrs Brown's ballads. Money was definitely changing hands as Webster was a ballad broker passing ballads back and forth between the editors.

There is an excellent article by William McCarthy of the University of the Ozarks in Folk Music Journal Vol 5 No 3, 1987. It is actually about Motherwell as field collector but gives some insight into how the ballads were brokered and edited. It is well known that by and large the editors of that period paid fieldworkers to go out and collect the ballads and in some cases even these paid people paid others to go out and collect for them.

BTW David Laing was another of these ballad brokers carrying versions around the country as his job took him to different places like Glenbuchat.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 03:55 PM

Steve,

Buchan said Child published 7 Nicol ballads but I'll take your word on it :)

Nicol's version was published by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe with mostly minor changes in 1839 from another MS of the same ballad in his transcript. He edited out Nicol's famous line, "Then he lifted up her fine Holland sark," in the penultimate stanza. Also Sir Walter Scott had a copy of the ballad MS in his collection of Nicols ballads he called "North Country Ballads."

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 04:02 PM

BTW I'm doing a ballad study and started putting info on my site last night. Here's what I have:

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/5-a-growing-the-trees-they-do-grow-high.aspx

I can't get Andrew Crawfurd's 1825 version online- this is what I have so far (Emily B. Lyle, 1996)

"The Lament of a Young Damsel for her Marriage to a Young Boy"

1 O father deir faither what's this ye'v dune
Ye'v marriet me to a man that's far owr young
For his aige it is twall and I am scarce fiftene
And my bonnie lad's lang a growing

2 O faither deir faither gin ye wad think it fit
To send him to the college anither yeir yit
I'd tye a grein ribban aw around his hat
To let the girls ken he is marryit

3 Or father dear faither gin ye wad agree
To put [missing]
I wad cut aff the yellow hair that grows on my brow
An I'll gae to the college wi him

4. O dochter deir dochter I'v dune ye nae wrang
I'v marryit you to an Earl's only son
An whan his father dees he will be air o aw
And your bonnie lad daily growan.

anyone?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 05:29 PM

But whan he was thirtene he was a marryit man
Whan he was fourtene he fatherit his auld son
Whan he was fifteen his grave was growan green
And that put an end to his growing

O the trees thay are hie and the leaves thay ar green
The days are awa that I hae aften seen
The cauld winter nichts that I maun lye my lane
And my bonnie laddie's far far fae me

From Elizabeth Macqueen. She married Robert Orr in 1828
She was the sister of Thomas MacQueen who was paid by Crawfurd to collect who was paid by Motherwell.

It's no 122 in Vol 2 of the Crawfurd Ballads


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 05:53 PM

Ty Steve,

need 2nd line of 3rd stanza and I'll have it:

3 Or father dear faither gin ye wad agree
To put [missing]

beautiful version,

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 10:43 AM

Hi,

Just wrote the ballad story you can read it on my site: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/5-a-growing-the-trees-they-do-grow-high.aspx

I'm adding it here since it's not long:

* * * *

The Ballad Story

The ballad story itself is rather simple which is perhaps why it was not included in Child's 305 English and Scottish Ballads (ten volumes from 1882-1899). Despite its simplicity the ballad explores one of the fundamental laws of life: we are either growing or dying. And when he was dead and in his grave--that put an end to his growing. When he was gone, the trees were still high, and the leaves were still green, and life goes on like a bubblin' stream and his love wishes he was -- still a-growin'.

O the trees thay are hie and the leaves thay ar green
The days are awa that I hae aften seen
The cauld winter nichts that I maun lye my lane
And my bonnie laddie's far far fae me.

Above is last stanza of a Scot version from Elizabeth Macqueen, c. 1825--Andrew Crawfurd's collection of ballads and songs. It's easy to understand the deep loss and sadness she feels all alone on a cold winter's night without her "bonnie laddie." She fell in love with the bonnie boy that she once rejected saying to her father who arranged the marriage that she would rather have an old man with a staff than a young boy[22]:

"Father," she said, "You've done me much wrang,
You've wedded to a young, young man,
I'd have wedded ane wid staff in his han,
'Afore I had wedded a boy." [from The Glenbuchat Ballads, c. 1818]

Her father explains that his young boy is heir to his father estate and that someday he will be a man of wealth and power but he's still a-growing:

O dochter deir dochter I'v dune ye nae wrang
I'v marryit you to an Earl's only son
An whan his father dees he will be air o aw
And your bonnie lad daily growan. [also Elizabeth Macqueen, c. 1825]

The boy is in college and she suggests that he be sent back for another year so he can continue a-growing. She wants him to wear a ribbon to let the other girls know he's married:

O faither deir faither gin ye wad think it fit
To send him to the college anither yeir yit
I'd tye a grein ribban aw around his hat
To let the girls ken he is marryit [also Elizabeth Macqueen, c. 1825]

She decides to dress up in a disguise, because he's so young and their marriage is secret, to go see him at college[23]:

"I'll cut my yellow hair away by the root,
And I will clothe myself all in a boy's suit,
And to the college high, I will go afoot,
When my pretty lad so young still is growing." [from William Aggett, Chagford, around 1900]

At the college she watches him playing ball, and he's the fairest flower of all, and he's still a-growing. He can't tell anyone he's married at such a young age so he calls her his sister:

Then all the colligeners war playing at the ba',
But young Craigston was the flower of them a',
He said—" play on, my school fellows a';"
For I see my sister coming. [from James Nicol of Strichen, before 1822]

She made his Holland shirts with great devotion:

She's made him shirts o' the Holland sae fine,
And wi' her ain hands she sewed the same;
And aye the tears came trickling down.
Saying, my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing. [Motherwell, c, 1819]

He was married at thirteen, the next year had a son, then suddenly he died and stopped a-growing:

But whan he was thirtene he was a marryit man
Whan he was fourtene he fatherit his auld son
Whan he was fifteen his grave was growan green
And that put an end to his growing.

But the trees are still high and the leaves are still green, like the grass that grows o'er his grave has been. And she lies cold and alone on a winter's night--far, far from him:

O the trees thay are hie and the leaves thay ar green
The days are awa that I hae aften seen
The cauld winter nichts that I maun lye my lane
And my bonnie laddie's far far fae me.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 10:57 AM

To put a cott and waistcott an breiks upon me


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 03:17 PM

Ty Steve,

I appreciate your help and advice always-- I've learned from you as I'm still a-learnin'

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 10:02 AM

Steve,

I'll be putting the texts on my site today and have all of them but the 5 Greig/Duncan texts in Volume 6. Could you please email them to me- I'll post a few here and put them all on my site. TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 11:04 AM

Hi,

Here are some historic events and dates from which I think the ballad was made (see also on my site):

1) John Urquhart of Cragiston (b. 1611) married Elizabeth Innes (b. 1613- ref. Brad Verity) in 1632.

2) They had issue in 1633 one child, Sir John Urquhart d. 1678 who was the heir of Craigston (also Craigstoun).

3) On Nov. 30, 1634 John died leaving a son[17].

4) In 1632 Alexander Brodie returned from King's College[18] in England because of the death of his father. After the funeral he returned to King's College where he matriculated during the years 1632, 1633 and possibly 1634. I assume he came home when classes were not in session, and during this time or shortly after the death of John Urquhart, he met Elizabeth Innes. The meeting was likely through an introduction from her father or mother Grizel, the daughter of the 2nd Earl of Murray(Morey). At the request from her father but not without her permission, Elizabeth Innes married Alexander when he was underage--a boy, the age of 17. It's possible, as in the ballad, that she may have gone to his college to see him.

5) For whatever the reason, probably because of his young age, Brodie was "shortly and quietly" married to Robert Innes' "own eldest daughter Elizabeth Innes" [see Spalding] who was about 4 years older than him. Sir Robert was married to Grizel Stewart, the daughter of the 2nd Earl of Murray (Morey) in 1611. They had eight children--Elizabeth was the eldest of five daughters and married first. She was born about 1613 and Brodie was born in 1617. Because Elizabeth married less than a year after her husband died, it brings into question the actual length of the relationship with Alexander Brodie and also the nature and circumstances surrounding John Urquhart's "consuming seikness."

6) After the death of her first husband (John Urquhart of Craigston) it was possible that her father, Sir Robert Innes, obliged her to marry young Alexander, although Spalding says it was "not without her consent, as was thought[19]." John Urquhart died of a "consuming seikness" at the Place of Innes on November 30, 1634. It is rumored that his death was caused by the debt associated with estate he inherited from his grandfather in 1631. His grandfather, John Urquhart-- the Tutor of Cromarty, bought the Estate of Craigston in Aberdeenshire which would normally go to his son, John Urquhart of Laithers. His son died a month later(also 1631) but was a poor manager and was not in line to inherit the estate anyway so it went to his grandson.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 02:59 PM

I think I'd have to set this out as a diagram to follow it properly. Phew! And of course families like this and local historians would have kept the story alive for several centuries until a ballad maker came along looking for material. Whoever wrote it it is a beautiful song. I could easily imagine the tune to have been a pipe tune originally.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 10:24 PM

Hi Steve,

Thanks for sending the Greig, I'll post the Bell Robertson. Her mother, Jean Gall, was from Strichen and maybe just a few years after James Nicol-- she was probably born circa 1820 and she may have got the ballad from her mother, Isobel Stephen, which would take it back further.

It's the only version that compares to Nicols and she edited the Holland sark line - probably herself ;)

The history is fascinating. Elizabeth Innes father, Sir Robert was a very powerful and influential man, crowned first Baronet in 1625 (of Nova Scotia and he was awarded 16,000 acres of land). he was also Privy Coucillor of Scotland for life- whatever that is :) So naturally he would have little problem persuading Alexander Brodie to marry his daughter- plus she was prob a hot babe with a Holland sark- no wonder he was growing.

Her mother, Grizel Stewart, was the daughter of the Bonny Earl of Moray and the granddaughter of the King so she had a ballad written about her daughter and also her father- who just happened to be murdered by that bad dude Huntley.

Her parents- to put it mildly- where connected out the wazzo- so what's a poor boy like Alex to do?

No wonder her first hubby John had a nervous breakdown- not only was his father a nut job who grandad of Cromartie wouldn't have as heir, but his dad made him promise to take care of his mom and pay all their debt!!! Woah

He only lasted 3 years struggling to take care of little miss it before he kicked the bucket.

That royalty for ya,

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 10:39 PM

From: The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, Volume 6 by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, Emily B. Lyle; Aberdeen University Press, 1995.

E. My Love A-Growing- recited by Bell Robertson to Gavin Grieg about 1907 in New Pitsligo, Scotland. Probably learned from her mother Jean Gall of Strichen circa 1856.

Oh father, oh father you've done me great wrong
You've wedded me to a child-young bairn
Who lies all night upon my arm
And my bonnie love's lang a-growing.
CHORUS: And growing, growing said the bonnie may
And my bonny love's lang a-growing.

Oh daughter, oh daughter, I've done you no wrong
I've wedded you to an heir o' lan'
And by him ye have mony bullion ban'
And your bonnie love's daily growing.
CHORUS:

But ae nicht afore that it grew dark
They walked doon by her father's park
And he proved the pleasure o' her heart[1]
And she never thocht lang for growing.
CHORUS:

At seven years auld he wis a mairriet man
At eleven years auld he had a young son
At thirteen year his grave was green
And upset your Craigston's growing[2].
CHORUS:

1. an edited line since sark clearly rhymes- the meaning is the same. Nicols, circa 1822: "Then he lifted up her fine Holland sark,"
2. originally spelled Cragston


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 08 Sep 16 - 12:13 AM

Hi Steve,

Still out of town, I've been working on the Baring-Gould versions, lots of re-writing :)

Baring-Gould studied versions in the British Library, he says in his MS it's from "a volume of Scottish broadsides in British Library 1871f. dated 1750-1780" and was "printed in Aberdeen probably." I was wondering if you could give me info about this one. The date appears in Songs and Ballads of the West, 1892 edition as 1750-1840 quite a gap!

Here's most of the text:

1. The trees they are so high and the leaves they are so green,
The day [etc]

2. Father, O father you have done me much wrong,
For you have married me to a lad
My bonny laddie's young but is growing

3. O daughter, O daughter I have done you no wrong,
For I have married you to a rich lord's son,
And if you will wait, his bride you will be,
My bonny laddie's young but is growing

4. She sewed him a shirt of Holland fine,
And aye as she sewed the tears they ran down,
And aye as she sewed the tears they ran down,
My bonny laddie's young but he's growing.

5. Father, O father if you think's fit,
We'll send him to this high college another year yet,
And I'll cut of my yellow hair all above my brow,
And I'll go to the high college with my laddie now.

6. It happened on a day and a sun shiny day,
Here going to a green wood to sport and to play,
And what they did there I never will declare,
But she never complained on his growing.

7. At the age of thirteen he was a married man,
At the age of fourteen he had a young son,
At the age of fifteen his grave was growing green,
And that put and end to his growing.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Sep 16 - 06:37 AM

The only 1871 f I have a list for is 1871 f 13 and that has all Scottish sheets and the datable ones are 1820-1830s. I've had a quick look through the list which has titles and first lines and can't see anything that looks like Bonny Boy. There are other 1871 f books such as f3 but I haven't got a list for that. Steve Roud has done more listing than I have and we usually exchange lists as we do them, but he has been moving house for the last few months and may not have any new info.

I'll use the first line and check the list thoroughly then I'll try the BL catalogue.

Woah, lad! Found it. I only had time to copy out the first stanza. It is 1871 f 13 60a if you want to send for it. The title is 'My Bonnie Laddie's Young'. SBG's first line is wrong.

Here it is as I copied it.
The trees they are high and the leaves are green
The days they are awa that you and I have seen
The cauld winter nights I maun lie my lane,
My bonnie laddie's young but he is growing.

There are as you have above 7 sts but how accurately SBG published them I don't currently know.

On the version itself I have a few comments. Firstly our old friend Peter Buchan was printing in Aberdeen around that time and he, like SBG, was quite fond of mixing and matching. That stanza 6 comes from at least 2 different ballads. For the first line see Christie Vol 2, p230, or Ord p179. There are 5 versions in Greig Duncan. The line given here occurs at the start of a version in Journal of the EFDSS Vol 4 No5. 1944 titled 'It happened on a day' sung by James Grant. The song does have some stanzas in common with Bonny Boy but the tune I have heard is different. The 3rd line I have a vague memory of from some other ballad. Does this st occur in any other versions?


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 16 Sep 16 - 02:13 PM

Hi,

I want to thank Steve Gardham and Steve Roud for sending a copy of the Scottish broadside dated 1820s from the British Library. Here's a copy of the text- an image of the broadside is on my site here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/5-a-growing-the-trees-they-do-grow-high.aspx

Richie

    "My Bonnie Laddie's Young" -Scottish Broadside, c. 1820s; ref. number 1871 f13 60a- British Library

    1. The trees they are high and the leaves are green
    The days they are awa that you and I have seen
    The cauld winter nights I maun lie my lane,
    My bonnie laddie's young but he is growing.

    2. Father, O father you have done me much wrong,
    For you have married me to a lad that is young,
    For he's scarce twelve and I am but thirteen
    My bonny laddie's young but he's a growing.

    3. O daughter, O daughter I have done you no wrong,
    For I have married you to a rich lord's son,
    And if you will wait, his bride you will be,
    Your bonny laddie is young he is growing.

    4. She sewed to him a shirt of Hollands fine,
    And aye as she sew'd the tears they ran down,
    And ay' as she sewed the tears they ran down,
    My bonny laddie is lang lang a growing.

    5. Father, O father if you think it fit,
    Weel send him to this high college another year yet,
    And I'll cut of my yellow hair all above my brow,
    And I'll go to the high college with my laddie now.

    6. It happened on a day and a sun shiny[1] day,
    Here going to a green wood to sport and to play,
    And what they did there I never will declare,
    But she never complained on his growing.

    7. At the age of thirteen he was a married man,
    At the age of fourteen they had a young son,
    At the age of fifteen his grave was growing green,
    And that put and end to his growing.

1. original "shinny"


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 16 Sep 16 - 02:23 PM

Hi,

In the text above it's "bonny" in the title and throughout. Baring- Gould copied it from the British Library around 1890 and it appears twice in his notebooks. Aside from the first stanza (which Baring-Gould didn't write- he just gave a line which was wrong) there are a few minor changes but not many.

There is a red imprint stamped on the first line which is hard to read and may not be legible on this copy or the original.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 16 - 04:11 PM

British Museum


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 28 Sep 16 - 03:49 PM

Hi,

These are the traditional UK version I have- if anyone knows a version I'm missing please post title and if you have it the text:

British & other versions 5. A-Growing

    My Love is Long A-Growing: (Edin) c.1776 Herd
    Lady Mary Ann- Robert Burns (Edin) 1787 Johnson
    Craigston's Growing- (Aber) pre1818 Rev. Scott
    My Bonnie Laddie's Lang o' Growing- (Pais) c.1819
    The Young Laird of Craigstoun- Nicol (Strich) 1822
    Lament of a Young Damsel- Macqueen (Ayr) c.1825
    My Bonny Laddie's Young- Broadside (Scot) c.1825
    My Love A-Growing: Bell Robertson (Pits) c.1856
    Young Craigston- (Buchan) pre1881 Christie
    Trees They Are So High- Parsons (Lew) 1888 B-G.
    Trees They Are So- Parsons/Baker (Lew) 1889 B-G.
    My Bonny Boy- Mary O'Bryan (Cahir) 1890 B.Gould
    All the Trees- Mrs.Mason (Devon) 1890 B.Gould
    Growing- William Aggett (Chag) 1890 B.Gould
    Trees They Are So High- Hannaford (Wid) 1890 B-G.
    My Bonny Lad Is Young- Thompson (York) 1893 Kidson
    The Trees are Getting High- George Ede (Sur) 1896
    Trees They Do Grow High- Harry Richards (Som) 1904
    He's Growing- Mrs. Glover (Som) 1904 Sharp B
    Trees They Do Grow High- Gouldthorpe (Linc) 1905
    My Bonny Lad Is Young- Amos Ash (Som) 1905
    He's Growing- Mr. Booker (Sus) 1905 V. Williams
    But A-Growing: woman (Devon) 1905 Bertha Bidder
    The Bonny Lad- Lucy White (Som) 1905 Sharp C
    Trees They Do Grow High- Beverley (Linc) 1905
    Still Growing- Wilson Champ (Som) 1905 Sharp D
    Still Growing- Harriet Young (Som) 1905 Sharp E
    Trees They are so High- William Bartlett(Dor) 1905
    All the Trees- Henry Stansbridge (Hamp) 1906
    Trees They Grows High- James Brown (Hamp) 1906
    Green Grows the Grass- Joseph Taunton (Dor) 1906
    Trees They do Grow High- Mrs. Studeley (Dor) 1906
    The Trees They Are Withered- Mrs. Hann (Dor) 1906
    At the Age of Fourteen- Marina Russell (Dor) 1907
    Trees They Do Grow- Ginger Clayton (Cam) 1907
    Trees They Do Grow High- William Smith (Hre) 1907
    Trees They Do Grow High- David Penfold (Sus) 1907
    Young But Growing- James Cheyne (Aber) c.1908
    Still Growing- Jack Barnard (Som) 1908 Sharp F
    Still Growing- Alfred Emery (Som) 1908 Sharp G
    The Trees They Do Grow- Mrs. Whiting (Mon) 1908
    My Bonnie Laddie's Young- Mrs. Bowker (Lanc) 1909
    My Bonnie Laddie's Young- Whitehead (Lanc) 1909
    Trees They Did Grow High- Wm Ellison (Wilt) 1909
    Trees They Do Grow- Stephen Spooner (Sus) 1911
    My Bonny Lad Is Young- Mrs. Joiner (Herts) 1914
    Still Growing- Kathleen Williams(Glos)1921 Sharp H
    My Father's Castle Wall- Nelson Ridley (Kent) 1926
    Trees They Do Grow High- Bob Copper (Sus) c.1952
    The Trees are Growing Tall- Pat Kelly (Down) 1953
    Young but Growing- Margaret McGarvey (Ferm) 1954
    The Bonny Boy- Seán 'ac Dhonncha (Carna) 1955
    Long a-Growing: May Bradley (Shrop) c.1959 Hamer
    Young But Growing- Caroline Hughes (Dor) c.1962
    My Bonny Boy Is Young- Joe Heaney (Carna) 1964
    Lang A-Growing: Liam Clancy (Tip) 1965 REC
    The Bonny Boy- Fred Jordan (Shrop) 1966 Yates
    Young Man A-Growing- George Dunn (Birm) 1972
    The College Boy- Lizzie Higgins (Scot)1973 Kennedy
    Long A-Growing- Mary Ann Haynes (Sus) 1974 Yates
    Trees They Do Grow High- Walter Pardon (Nor) 1974
    Trees They Grew High- Pat MacNamara (Clare) 1975
    Tale of the Little Boy- Nelson Penfold (Dev) 1974
    Long a-Growing: Harry Brazil (Glou) 1977 Davies
    The Bonny Boy- Tom Lenihan (Clare) 1987 REC
    The Bonny Boy- Maggie McGee (Don) 1992 McBride
    Trees They Grew High- Vincie Boyle (Clare) 2012

I've got most of the headnotes down here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/5-a-growing-the-trees-they-do-grow-high.aspx

Need to proof it still,

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: hsempl
Date: 28 Sep 16 - 06:44 PM

I know you have the Lizzie Higgins version from 1973 above, but I don't think you have this version yet from the Folk-Legacy Archives, recorded in 1958. Interestingly, although the tune is much the same in this version as in the later version, there are differences, including dips down low in 1973 in spots where they aren't in 1958, e.g., at the beginning. Also, lyrically, in 1973 she ends with "And cruel fate put an end to his growing."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wswYFNon5hc

Oh father, dear father, pray what is this you've done?
You have wed me to a college boy, a boy is far too young
For he is only 16 years and I am 21
He's my bonny bonny boy and he's growing

As we were going through college when some boys were playing ball
When there I saw my own true love, the fairest of them all
When there I saw my own true love, the fairest of them all
He's my bonny bonny boy and he's growing

For at the age of 16 years he was a married man
And at the age of 17 the father of a son
But at the age of 21 he did become a man
But the green grass o'er his grave it was growing

I will buy my love some flannel, I will make my love's shroud
With every stitch I put in it, the tears will fall down
With every stitch I put in it, the tears will fall down
And that put an end to his growing


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 08:04 PM

TYVM I assume this is the version recorded by Sandy Paton. Lizzie was so taken by the ballad she went to the Craigston Castle. I still don't have her source but I though it might be Stanley Robertson.

Steve- I finally got the text to the Wehman Broadside, dated about 1880. It is broadside No. 756 by H. J. Wehman of 50 Chatham St., New York, which was the first version published in the US. The text was reprinted in Good Old-time Songs, Issue 3 by Wehman bros., firm, publishers; 1914:

MY BONNY BOY IS YOUNG, BUT HE'S GROWING

Oh! father, dear father, you've done me much harm.
You've married me a man that is twice too young;
I'm twice twelve and he is but thirteen.
He's young but he's daily growing.

Oh! daughter, dear daughter, I've done you no harm,
I've married you to a rich man's son;
He'll make you a lady if you wait on,
He's young but he's daily growing.

Oh! father, dear father, if you think it fit,
We will send him to college for one year yet;
We will tie a green ribbon around about his head
To let the pretty girls know he's married.

As she chanced to look over her father's garden wall,
'Twas there she saw some men at the tossing of a ball.
Saying, my own true lover is the fairest of them all,
He's young but he's daily growing.

She bought him a shirt of the cambric so fine,
And stitched it all 'round to suit her mind;
As site sat a sewing, the tears came rolling down,
Said she, my bonny boy's a long time growing,

At thirteen he was a married man,
At fourteen his young babe was born.
At fifteen his grave it was green.
And that put an end to his growing.

Any other versions? I'm finishing up the US versions and have improved my headnotes here:
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/5-a-growing-the-trees-they-do-grow-high.aspx

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 10:05 PM

Hi,

Here's a link to "The Bonny Boy" as performed by A.L. "Bert" Lloyd. Recorded in London, UK, 1951; Call number: AFC 2004/004: T3280R06.
Listen: http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-audio-detailed-recording.do?recordingId=10260

Who's version did he record? (see answer below- backwards) Hint: When Broadwood published it a second time she left off the "sex" stanza.

The 1907 recording by Vaughan Williams is also online: http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Ethnographic-wax-cylinders/025M-C0037X1583XX-0100V0

According to the MS it's by William Penfold (ref. Roud) but the online version says David Penfold was Landlord of the Plough Inn at Rusper in 1907. Anyone?


Answer: (read backwards) edE egroeG

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 10:17 PM

Hi,

It's easier to hear Penfold with the text;

Only the 2nd- 4th stanzas appear on Penfold's 1907 recording -link in last post:

"O father, dear father you have dome something wrong,
You've bound me to that man which you know is very young."
"O daughter, wait a while, you will quickly have a son
And a lady you will be, while he growing."
"O daughter, wait a while, you will quickly have a son
And a lady you will be, while he growing."

We will send him to the college for another year or two,
Perhaps that's time my love that he will do for you,
We'll buy him a bunch of white ribbons to tie round his waist so fine,
Just to let the ladies know that he's married.
We'll buy him a bunch of white ribbons to tie round his waist so fine,
Just to let the ladies know that he's married.

She went to the college and looked over the wall,
Saw four and twenty gentlemen there, playing at the ball,
They would not let her in but her true love she did call,
Because he was so long and a-growing.
They would not let her in but her true love she did call,
Because he was so long and a-growing.

At the age of sixteen he was a married man
At the age of seventeen he was the father of a son,
At the age of eighteen grass was growing over him,
Cruel death had put an end to his growing.
At the age of eighteen grass was growing over him,
Cruel death had put an end to his growing.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: hsempl
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 11:04 PM

Hi Richie,
Thank you so much for this comprehensive list of versions! I note that at the end of the 1958 recording, Lizzie is asked who she learned it from, and she says the name and that it was 12 years before, so in 1946, when she would have been only about 17 years old, but I'm afraid I can't quite make it out. I am pretty sure the last name is Mcallister, but not sure of the first one. You will probably be able to make it out.
Heather


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 30 Sep 16 - 12:43 PM

Hi,

One online source says Lizzie learned this ballad in the 1940s from her father, Donald 'Donty' Higgins.

I hear McAllister too but not the first part.

Here's the link if anyone can hear the name at the end:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wswYFNon5hc

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Reinhard
Date: 30 Sep 16 - 12:58 PM

Another version by Lizzie Higgins is "The College Boy (Young Craigston)" on her 1969 Topic album "Princess of the Thistle". It was recorded by Bill Leader on January 5, 1968. The lyrics are quite similar to those posted by hsempl two days ago but they end

With every stitch I put in it, the tears will flow down,
For cruel fate put an end to his growing.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Sep 16 - 01:57 PM

Even if the details of a particular version exactly match the details of a specific historical episode, that wouldn't settle anything. No doubt there have been meny times when there have been real instances of a young lad in an arranged marriage dying and leaving a son.


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 30 Sep 16 - 08:52 PM

Hi,

Baring-Gould postulated an English origin and of course their are many "real instances of a young lad in an arranged marriage dying and leaving a son." Nothing has been found however to back it up. Baring-Gould's guessed but never had any facts to back it up. Then Broadwood and every collector has parroted this for no obvious reason.

However when the melody was collected in Scotland in 1675 and the first 7 versions are Scottish it might actually have something.

The fact that her 2nd husband was a Lord, rich heir and underage attending King's College since he was 14 and she was about 4 years older than this underage boy when they married in 1635- might be more compelling evidence. Lord Alexander Brodie was the College Boy.

Richie


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Subject: RE: The trees they do grow high: medieval?
From: Richie
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 09:56 PM

Hi,

I'm finally finished with "Trees". I did get a nice article from Mary Ellen Brown titled, "The progress of Lady Mary Ann" about Burns recreation which she wrote in the 70s and was kind enough to send. Special thanks to Steve Gardham and Steve Roud for getting me a copy of the Scottish Broadside and other versions. I have less than 100 version on my site but there are over 100 versions of the ballad.

If anyone can proof my Headnotes it would be a big help- I'm at times sloppy and I can't type :) Here's the Headnotes: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/5-a-growing-the-trees-they-do-grow-high.aspx

All the UK (plus one Aussie by Sally Sloane) versions, about 73 are here (notes almost complete): http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/british--other-versions-5-a-growing-.aspx

The 11 versions from North America are here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-5-a-growing-the-trees.aspx

Any comments, suggestions can be posted here or emailed (corrections esp.) to Richiematt7@gmail.com

Richie


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