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Origins: The Nutting Girl

DigiTrad:
NUTTING GIRL


GUEST,phred 23 Aug 16 - 09:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 16 - 10:07 PM
GUEST,Reinhard 24 Aug 16 - 02:49 AM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 16 - 03:11 AM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 16 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,phred 24 Aug 16 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,phred 24 Aug 16 - 06:41 AM
Snuffy 24 Aug 16 - 07:03 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Aug 16 - 08:10 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Aug 16 - 08:15 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Aug 16 - 08:50 AM
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Subject: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: GUEST,phred
Date: 23 Aug 16 - 09:54 PM

I have written a novel, being published next March, entitled THE NUTTING GIRL - which is a traditional Morris dance/song that dozens of Morris teams perform in public and that has appeared on numerous recordings... in the book, I quote several lines from this song (and properly attribute them as coming from this song)
My publisher wants verification that this song is in the public domain, so that we will be allowed to quote they lyrics freely
I am quite sure that this is indeed in the public domain, but can anyone tell me how this can be verified?
all help is greatly appreciated - thanks!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 16 - 10:07 PM

First written down back in the 1930s (as Nutting Time) widely sung since the 1950s. It's as traditional as they come, but proving that there's no one alive more recently with a claim to have written it might be hard. Here's a page with a fair bit of information https://mainlynorfolk.info/guvnor/songs/thenuttinggirl.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: GUEST,Reinhard
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 02:49 AM

Phred, show your publisher the Traditional Ballad index entry for The Nutting Girl. It gives 1895 for the earliest known printed version, which is well outside any copyright claims.


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Subject: ADD Version: Nutting Girl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 03:11 AM

I can't quite figure out where the Ballad Index gets the exact date of 1895. I think all but one of the sources cited in the Ballad Index come from the second half of the twentieth century. But the one remaining is a good one, Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 652, "Nutting Girl" (1 text) That's Transcriptions of the Alfred Williams (1877-1930) manuscripts stored at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, edited by Chris Wildridge, and available at the History Centre and online at https://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getfolk.php?id=405. Ballads cited by shelfmark. Indexed by Ben Schwartz. Initial elements added in v. 2.6.
NOTE: The collection includes all 270 songs published by Williams in Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames.

The transcription by Williams is undated, but we know Williams died in 1930.
Here 'tis:

NUTTING GIRL


It's of a brisk young farmer,
A-ploughing of his land,
He called unto his horses,
And bid them gently stand;
He sat himself all on his plough,
A song for to begin,
His voice was so melodious,
It made the welkin ring.

Chorus

A-nutting we will go,
A-nutting we will go,
With a blue cockade all in our hats,
We'll cut a gallant show.

Verse 2

It's of a brisk young damsel,
A-walking in the wood,
His voice was so melodious,
It charmed her where she stood.
She had no longer power,
In that lone wood to stay,
And what few nuts she had, poor girl,
She threw them all away.

Chorus

Verse 3

She went unto her Johnny,
As he sat on his plough,
She said, 'Young man you sing so sweet,
I pray you, tell me how.'
He says, 'My pretty fair maid,
I'm glad to see you here,
Come, sit you down beside me,
I'll keep you out of fear,'

Chorus

Verse 4

Young Johnny left his horses,
Likewise he left his plough,
He took her to the shady grove,
Some courage for to show;
He kissed her then, right manfully,
As they sat upon the grounds,
She said, 'Young man, I think I see,
The world go round and round.'

Chorus

Verse 5

Young Johnny went unto his plough,
To finish off his song,
He says, 'My pretty fair maid,
Your mother will think you long.'
But as they tripped up the plain,
He on her breast did lean,
She says, 'Young man, I think I see,
The world go round and round.'

Chorus


Ah, but The Folk Handbook cites a version collected by George Gardiner in August, 1906 - that puts it in public domain in any country. Oh, and the versions in Greig-Duncan were collected in 1907.

Ah, here it is: In his Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (page 434), Peter Kennedy says "The Nutting Girl" was published in 1895 in the book titled Songs and Ballads of the West by Rev. Sabine Baring Gould and Rev. H. Fleetwood Sheppard. This link (click) should take you there.
-Joe-


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Subject: Origins: Nutting Girl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 03:52 AM

Phred, please post something when you come back. I'd like to rename this thread "Origins: Nutting Girl" and continue the research we've done on this song. A specific title will make this information easier to find.
Thanks.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor-
joe@mudcat.org


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Nutting Girl, The

DESCRIPTION: A young girl goes out to gather nuts. A farmer stops plowing and begins to sing. The girl hears his sweet voice, and "what nuts she had got, poor girl, she threw them all away." They lie together, then go their ways. The song warns girls against dallying
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1895; tune 1792 (Bunting)
KEYWORDS: courting seduction music harvest farming sex pregnancy
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber)) US(NE)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Kennedy 186, "The Nutting Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan7 1475, "A-Nutting I'll Not Go" (4 texts, 3 tunes)
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 214-215, "The Nutting Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 652, "Nutting Girl" (1 text)
Palmer-ECS, #72, "The Nutting Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Grainger 15, "The Nutting Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck-Maine, pp. 108-109, "The Jolly Plough Boy" (1 text, 1 tune, in which the plough boy and the squire's daughter end up getting married; I suspect two songs have joined)
DT, NUTGIRL*

Roud #509
RECORDINGS:
Warde Ford, "A Nutting We Will Go" [incomplete] (AFS 4200 A2, 1938; in AMMEM/Cowell)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Battle of Harlaw" (tune, per GreigDuncan7)
cf. "Mowing Match Song" (partial tune, according to Palmer)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Lie Owre
Young Jackie
NOTES: The recording lists "Our Goodman" as an alternate title for Ford's recording, but "Our Goodman" it ain't. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.7
File: K186

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



And the lyrics for the song from our Digital Tradition Folk Song Database:

NUTTING GIRL (from DT)

Now come all you jovial fellows, come listen to my song
It is a little ditty and it won't detail you long
It's of a fair young damel, and she lived down in Kent
Arose one summer's morning, and she a-nutting went

CHO: With my fal-lal to my ral-tal-lal
Whack-fol-the-dear-ol-day
And what few nuts that poor girl had
She threw them all away.

It's of a brisk young farmer, was ploughing of his land
He called unto his horses, to bid them gently stand
As he sit down upon his plough, all for a song to sing
His voice was so melodious, it made the valleys ring

It's of this fair young damsel, she was nutting in the wood
His voice was so melodious, it charmed her as she stood
In that lonely wood, she could no longer stay
And what few nuts she had, poor girl, she threw them all away

She then came to young Johnny, as he sit on his plough
She said: ``Young man I really feel I cannot tell you how''
She took her to some shady broom, and there he laid her down
Said she: ``Young man, I think I feel the world
go round and round''

He went back to his horses to finish off his song
He said: ``My pretty fair maid, your mother will think you long''
But she flung her arms all round his neck
as they went o'er the plain
And she said: ``My dear, I should like to see
the world go round again''

Now, come all you young women, take warning by my song
If you should a-nutting go, don't stay from home too long
For if you should stay too late, to hear the ploughboy sing
You might have a young farmer to nurse up in the spring

Recorded by J. Kirkpatrick on Morris On
@seduction @bawdy
filename[ NUTGIRL
TUNE FILE: NUTGIRL
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF


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Subject: RE: Origins: NUTTING GIRL
From: GUEST,phred
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 06:37 AM

thanks to everyone for their help so far - I am re-titling the thread as requested


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: GUEST,phred
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 06:41 AM

oh - I guess I can't change the subject line myself ...
Joe Offer - if you have the power to change the subject line as you suggest please do so - thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 07:03 AM

Percy Grainger made a sound recording of Joseph Leaning singing it in August 1906


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 08:10 AM

This is getting ridiculous. There are numerous printed versions from the early 19th century. Most are available on the Bodleian Ballad website with printers' dates. The earliest I have are Angus of Newcastle, Pitts of London who died in 1844. All you have to do is print off a few Bodleian references and show them to your publisher.
Absolutely barking!


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 08:15 AM

I perhaps ought to have added the titles used at the Bodl are 'The Nut Girl' and 'The New Ploughboy'.

The Roud Index (EFDSS website) is the best place to go for earliest versions, but failing that if you post queries here I will usually pick it up.


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Subject: RE: Origins: how to verify a song is public domain
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 08:50 AM

It might be helpful if casual querists knew that 89% of what we call English traditional song can be found in their earliest extant form on cheap print of some form, broadsides, garlands, songsters, etc., from the 16th century up to the 1930s. That includes those we know the author of and those that came down from glee clubs, Music Hall, Theatres, pleasure gardens, song cellars etc.


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