Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads

Related threads:
Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 4 (14)
Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3 (135) (closed)
Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2 (129) (closed)
James Madison Carpenter shanties (38)
Sir Patrick Spens in Madison Carpenter (6)
Help: James Madison Carpenter (6)


Richie 25 Feb 18 - 01:37 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Feb 18 - 01:44 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 02:03 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Feb 18 - 04:48 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 04:52 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 05:28 PM
Brian Peters 25 Feb 18 - 05:40 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 07:09 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 07:25 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 08:19 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 09:16 PM
Richie 25 Feb 18 - 09:36 PM
Brian Peters 26 Feb 18 - 07:15 AM
Steve Gardham 26 Feb 18 - 10:36 AM
Brian Peters 26 Feb 18 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 26 Feb 18 - 01:55 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Feb 18 - 02:45 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Feb 18 - 03:04 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Feb 18 - 03:13 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Feb 18 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Gerry 26 Feb 18 - 04:37 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Feb 18 - 05:26 PM
Richie 26 Feb 18 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 27 Feb 18 - 01:03 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Feb 18 - 02:14 PM
Richie 27 Feb 18 - 06:03 PM
Richie 27 Feb 18 - 06:46 PM
Richie 27 Feb 18 - 07:02 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Mar 18 - 10:32 AM
Richie 01 Mar 18 - 08:52 PM
Richie 02 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Mar 18 - 01:57 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Mar 18 - 02:04 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Mar 18 - 02:29 PM
Richie 02 Mar 18 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Mar 18 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Mar 18 - 04:36 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Mar 18 - 05:42 PM
Richie 03 Mar 18 - 11:41 AM
Brian Peters 03 Mar 18 - 02:42 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Mar 18 - 03:36 PM
Richard Mellish 03 Mar 18 - 03:38 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Mar 18 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 03 Mar 18 - 05:24 PM
Richie 04 Mar 18 - 05:53 PM
Richie 04 Mar 18 - 05:57 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Mar 18 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Mar 18 - 07:13 PM
Richie 04 Mar 18 - 08:22 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:37 PM

Hi,

Now that the songs and ballads collected by James Madison Carpenter (1888-1984) of Mississippi are available online at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (hereafter 'VWML') this is an opportunity to study ballads he collected from England and Scotland, come of which date back to the mid-1800s (collected between 1928-1935). Also included are his Child ballad collected mostly in North Carolina between 1937 and 1941 by Carpenter and his Duke University students.

Here's a link to the Collection: https://www.vwml.org/search?q=James%20Madison%20Carpenter&is=1 It includes 5,018 entries some of them photos.

This is a study of specifically of The James Madison Carpenter Collection "Child ballads." In addition I would like to include older materials (broadsides, printed ballads, and other early sources) that may not have been available to F. J. Child when he was writing The English and Scottish Popular Ballads" with "305 Ballad Types" between c.1882-1898.

I welcome any discussion and posts of materials by such legendary informants as Bell Duncan, Alexander Robb, and others. Just so there is some order I'd like to start with Child 1 "Riddles Wisely Expounded" or in the US the ballad is known most commonly as "The Devil's Nine Questions" and work through each ballad in order.

The focus is on British ballads here, but US ballads from the Carpenter Collection are included.

TY

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:44 PM

I'm up for this and will contribute where I can. I was intending to look closely at the Bell Duncan ballads anyway. I want to try to evaluate what her sources might have been. This will no doubt involve comparing her versions with print copies and other versions from the same period.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 02:03 PM

Hi,

TY Steve,

Child No. 1, Riddles Wisely Expounded (Roud No. 161). There is apparently only one US version in the Carpenter Collection and it's from the US as collected in 1941 and titled, "Riddles Wisely Expounded." The local titles include "Sing Ninety-Nine and Ninety" or "The Devil's Nine Questions."

From the James Carpenter Collection, Reference Code AFC 1972/001, MS p. 07630, titled Riddles Wisely Expounded. According to reports from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph newspaper, Mary Davis Adair and the informant Mrs P. O. Ivery were in Bluefield, W. Va. in the years proceeding 1941 (until the late 1930s). In 1941 when the MS was collected they were in Narrows, Va. This version from the Carpenter Collection is nearly identical to the Kyle Arthur Davis Jr. version in Traditional Ballads of Virginia, published in 1929 and it could easily have been copied from the 1929 book. Since it was sent in, not transcribed, and no information has been provided to corroborate its legitimacy, it's impossible to determine whether it is, in fact, traditional. Personally I think it's a copy-- only one word has been changed from the verses published in 1929-- the word "me" replaces "my" in the first line. The title alone indicates that this was not a local version.

"Riddles Wisely Expounded" sent in by Mrs P.O. Ivery of Bluefield, WV in the 1930s and Narrows, VA, by June 1941 when the MS was sent in.

If you don't answer me questions nine
Sing ninety-nine and ninety,
I'll take you off to hell, alive,
And you are the weaver's bonny.

What is whiter than milk?
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
What is softer than silk?
Say you're the weaver's bonny."

Snow is whiter than milk,
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
Down is softer than silk,
And I'm the weaver's bonny."

What is louder than a horn?
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
What is sharper than a thorn?
Sing I am the weaver's bonny.

Thunder's louder than a horn,
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
Death is sharper than a thorn,
Sing I'm the weaver's bonny.

What is higher than a tree?
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
What is deeper than the sea?
Sing I'm the weaver's bonny.

Heaven's higher than a tree,
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
And hell is deeper than the sea,
Sing I'm the weaver's bonny.

What is innocenter than a lamb?
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
What is worse than woman-kind?
Say I'm the weaver's bonny.

A babe is innocenter than a lamb,
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
She-devil's worse than woman-kind,
Sing I'm the weaver's bonny."

You have answered me questions nine,
Sing ninety-nine and ninety;
You are God's-- you're not my own,
And you're the weaver's bonny."

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 03:53 PM

Hi,

The oldest extant English version of Child No. 1 is "Inter Diabolus et Virgo" taken from a manuscript of English and Latin prose and verse by Walter Pollard of Plymouth sometime after after 1445 when he acquired the MS. Child adds this version later in his Additions and Corrections.

I'm not familiar with the Exeter manuscript book which has "enigmata" or riddles at the end two sections.

Will anyone find any similar riddles?

The oldest analogue I know is Caxton's translation of "The Golden Legend (1483)" in the Miracles of St. Andrew entitled: The Bishop and the Devil in Disguise of a Woman. In this story St. Andrew, disguised as a pilgrim, is refused entrance to see the Bishop who has been visited by the Devil, in the form of a beautiful woman. The Devil asks the pilgrim (St. Andrew) three questions. To gain entrance through the Bishop's door-- the pilgrim must answer them:

1. What is the greatest marvel God made in little space? -- The diversity and excellence of the faces of men.
2. Is the earth higher than the heaven? - Where Christ's body is, in Heaven Imperial, he is higher than all the heaven.
3. How much space is there from the abyss to heaven? - The pilgrim requests that the Bishop make the woman answer this herself, for she had just fallen from heaven to the abyss.

* * * *

As far as older British versions, in Sabine Baring-Gould's "A Garland of Country Song (1895)," pp. 42-3, he mentions "a curious North-Irish version of the ballad may be seen in the British Museum, Ulster Ballads (1162 k.6)." Does anyone have the text or know where it may be found online?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 04:48 PM

Richie - I assume the Exeter book referred to is the one which is one of the major sources of Anglo-Saxon literature. It's the largest of the sources and gets the name from the cathedral of its location.

There's a wikipedia article: Anglo Saxon riddles and you can find the riddles in Old English with a modern translation here: Anglo Saxon Riddles Of The Exeter Book.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 04:52 PM

Hi,

Child No. 2, The Elfin Knight (Cambric Shirt) Roud 12 has a number of Scottish versions in The James Madison Carpenter Collection:

Alexander Robb- learned c.1875 from William Booth of Rathen
Alexander Stephens- learned c.1879 from Robert Nicol
John Ross-
Bell Duncan
Robert Nicol
Peter Christie

Here's one old broadside text not mentioned by Child:

The humours of love [London]. [1780?] 1 sheet: ill.; 1/40. Cambridge University Library Madden ballads, vol. 2 A slip-song - "If you will bring me one cambrick shirt,". REFERENCE: ESTCT200173.

If you will bring me one Cambrick Shirt,
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
Without any Needle, or Needle-work,
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

And wash it down in Yonders Well
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
Where never Spring Water or any Rain fell
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

And hang it up on yonders thorn,
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
That never bore blossom since Adam was born,
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

Now you have ask'd me Questions three;
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
I hope you will answer as many for me,
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

If you will take me an Acre of Land,
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
.Between the Salt water and the Sea-sand,
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

And plow it up with one Ram's horn,
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
And sow it all over with one Pepper-corn
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

And reap it with a Stray of Leather,
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
And bend it up with a Peacock's Feather
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

And put it into a Mouse's hole,
Sweet savory grows, rosemary and thyme,
And prick it out with a Cobbler's Awl,
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.

And when you have done and finished your work,
Sweet savory grows rosemary and thyme,
Then come to me for your Cambrick Shirt,
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.
And you shall be a true Lover of mine.
* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 05:28 PM

Hi Mick, ty

Child 2, Elfin Knight. From James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/B, p. 11511, dated c. 1930; compare to Robb's version in Greig-Duncan dated c. 1907. Robb was a school teacher and had access to printed materials.

"Laird o' Elfin" sung by Alexander Robb, School College, New Deer, (Aberdenshire) Scotland Learned from William Booth of Rathen fifty-five years ago (c. 1875).

The Laird o' Elfin stands on yon hill
Ba-ba-ba lily ba,
An' he blows his trumpet lood an' shrill
An' the wind blaws aye my plaid awa.

"O gin I had that horn in my kist
An' then be wedded wi' that knicht.

"But afore that I do that wi' thee,
A weel-shewed sark ye maun shew tee me.

"An' ye maun shew it needle-thread free
An' a weel-shewed sark ye maun sew to me.

"But afore that I do that tee thee
I'll gie you some wark to do tee me.

"I have a little wee acre o' land,
An' it's atween the salt seas an' the sand.

"Ye maun ploo it wi' a bugle horn
And ye maun saw't wi' Indian corn.

"An' ye maun cut it wi' your penknife
An' bind it up just as your life.

"An' ye maun stook it ower the sea
An' a dry sheaf ye maun bring to me.

"Robin Redbreast an' the wran
They'll bring tee me my corn hame.

"An' ye maun thras't i' your shee sole
An' ye maun riddle't in younder moose hole.

"An' ye maun winnie it in your nive,
An' ye maun sech it in your glive.

"An' when once ye've done a' this wark
Come ye tee me an' ye'll get your sark."

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 05:40 PM

That's an interesting broadside, Richie. I've tended to regard 'Cambric Shirt' as a different ballad to 'Laird of Elphin', although it includes many of the same tasks. Is this 1780[?] BS the earliest text we have for the 'Cambric Shirt' strain?

However, looking at the Carpenter texts, Robb's is obviously 'Laird of Elphin', but the others appear to be 'Cambric Shirt' - though they include a girl called Nell who, like the Elphin Knight, lives on a hill. Very confusing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 07:09 PM

Hi,

Child No. 2, The Elfin Knight: James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/10/124, Cylinder 123, 14:59

From Bell Duncan, who Carpenter called "the greatest ballad singer of all time." She was eighty-two-year-old and lived in a shepherd's cottage at Lambhill in the parish of Insch, Aberdeenshire. Her repertoire goes back from the mid to late 1800s.

Listen: https://www.vwml.org/search?q=RN12%20James%20Madison%20Carpenter&is=1

"The Elfin Knight," sung by Bell Duncan of Insch, Aberdeenshire about 1930.

"Ye will mak a sark tee me,
Ower the hills a' far awa',
Wi' an' eeless needle wantin' a thread,
For the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'.

"Ye maun wash't in yon water wan
Faur never man saw water rin.

"An' ye maun dry on yon thorn
Faur the sun never shone sin man was born.

"It's O young man, I've a little bit o' land,
Atween the saut seas an' the sand.

"Ye maun ploo it wi' a horn
An' saw it wi' a paper quirn.

"An' ye maun cut it wi' your penknife
An' stook it on the bleed o' yer life.

"An' ye maun trash it wi' your nivs[1],
An' winnie it wi' yer livs
Syne an' ye maun sack it in yer green glivs.

"An' when once ye've done a' this wark
Come ye tee me an' ye'll get your sark."
_________________

1. Irregular stanza

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 07:25 PM

Hi Brian,

One way to group the versions is by the refrains:

1. "Blow, blow, blow, ye winds blow" or "The wind blew the bonny lassie's plaidie awa' "
2. Herb refrains, such as "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme."
3. Syllable refrains.
4. "Sing ivy," refrains.

Here's a similar version to the broadside text published by Joseph Ritson about the same date (c. 1780) from "Gammer Gurton's Garland; Or, The Nursery Parnassus. A Choice Collection of Pretty Songs and Verses" (c. 1783).

"Can you make me a cambrick shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Without any seam or needle work?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"Can you wash it in yonder well,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Where never sprung water nor rain ever fell?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"Can you dry it on yonder thorn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Which never bore blossom since Adam was born?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"Now you have asked me questions three,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
I hope you'll answer as many for me.
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"Can you find me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Between the salt water and the sea sand?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"Can you plow it with a ram's horn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
And sow it all over with one pepper corn?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"Can you reap it with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
And bind it up with a peacock's feather?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

"When you have done, and finished your work,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Then come to me for your cambrick shirt,
And you shall be a true lover of mine."

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 08:19 PM

Hi,

Alexander Robb's version has the same refrain as Child A, dated 1670 which appears to be an arrangement of sorts with a complete refrain at the end:

My Plaid awa, my Plaid awa,
and ere the hill and far awa,
And far awa, to Norrowa
my Plaid shall not be blown awa.

Norway is far away! The author appears to change the last line at the end so that it agrees with the last line of the "original" chorus: "my Plaid shall not be blown awa." In effect there are stanzic refrains in lines 2 and 4 plus another four line refrain. The fact that the stanzic refrain's last line changes is not something that would occur in tradition. Whether the "ba, ba, ba" is an imitation of a horn blowing- is a matter on conjecture. Original spelling kept:

A proper New Ballad, Entituled,
The wind hath blown my Plaid away,
Or, A discourse betwixt a young Man, and the Elphin-Knight,
To be sung, with its own pleasant New Tune.


The Elphin Knight sits on yon Hill,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
He blows his Horn both lowd and shril,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

He blows it East, he blowes it West,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
He blowes it where he lyketh best,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

I wish that Horn were in my Kiss,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
Yea, and the Knight in my Armes two
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

She had no sooner these words said,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
When that the Knight came to her bed,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

Thou art over young a Maid quoth he,
Ba ba, ba, lilli, ba.
Married with me if thou wouldst be,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

I have a sister younger then I,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
And she was married yesterday,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

Married with me if thou wouldst be,
Ba, ba. ba, lilli, ba,
A Courtesie thou must do to me,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

For thou must shape a Sark to me,
Ba, ba, ba. lilli, ba,
Without any cut or heme, quoth he,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

Thou must shape it needle & Sheerlesse,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
And also sue it needle-Threedlesse,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.
If that piece of Courtesie I do to thee,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
Another thou must do to me,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

I have an Aiker of good Ley-land,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
Which lyeth low by yon Sea-strand,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

For thou must eare it with thy Horn,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
So must thou sow it with thy Corn,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

And bigg a Cart of stone and Lyme,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
Robin-Red-breast he must trail it hame,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

Thou must Barn it in a Mouse-holl,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba.
And thrash it into thy shoes soll,
the wind hoth blown my Plaid awa.

And thou must Winnow it in thy looff,
ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
And also seek it in thy Glove,
the wind hath blown thy Plaid awa.

For thou must bring it over the sea,
ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
And thou must bring it dry home to me,
the wind hath blown thy Plaid awa.

When thou hast gotten thy turns well-done
ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
Then come to me & get thy Sack then,
the wind hath blown my Plaid awa.

Il not quite my Plaid for my life;
ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba,
It haps my seven bairns and my wife
the wind shal not blow my Plaid awa.

My Maiden-head, Ile then keep still,
ba, ba, ba, lilli, ba.
Let the Elphin-Knight do what he will
the winds not blown my plaid awa.

My Plaid awa, my Plaid awa,
and ere the hill and far awa,
And far awa, to Norrowa
my Plaid shall not be blown awa.

FINIS.

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 09:16 PM

Hi,

A different form of refrain with the "true lover o' mine" ending is found in Peter Christie's Scottish version (James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/C, pp. 11583-11584) that was learned from his mother and surely dates back into the 1800s. In this form the Elfin Knight asks three questions and the maid ask three questions in return. One of the early texts not mentioned by Child is from The Scots Magazine, Volume 69, dated 1807 and this no doubt dates back to the 1700s. The author, Ignotus, "had it from a person who heard it repeated to him when a youth by his grandfather; who also was acquainted with it in his early years." The text and his comments are here:
https://books.google.com/books?id=ceE5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA527&dq=%22As+I+gaed+up+to+yonder+hill%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwif7v7GvsLZAhV

[He:]
As I gaed up to yonder hill,
(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
I met my mistress her name it was Nell,
" And lass gin ye be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll mak' to me a camric sark,
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"Without either seam or needlewark,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll wash it out at yonder well,
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"Whar water ne'er ran, nor rain ne'er fall,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

[She:]
"Now, Sir, since you speir't me questions three,
(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"I hope you will answer as mony for me,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll plough to me an acre o' land.
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"Atwixt the sea beet, and the sea sand,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll till it a' wi' yon cocklehorn,
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"And sow it all o'er wi' a handfu' o' corn,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll cut it a' down wi' a dacker o' leather,
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"And lead it a' in on a peacock's feather,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll thrash it a' wi' a cobbler's awl,
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"And put it a' up in a mouse's hole,
"And that an' ye be a true lover o' mine.

"And, Sir, when ye hae' done your work,
"(Saffron, sage, rue, myrrh,and thyme,)
"Come to me and get your camric sark
"And syne ye shall be a true lover o' mine."

* * * *


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 09:36 PM

Hi,

Compare this version James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/C, pp. 11583-11584 to the Scottish version from the 1700s in last post.

The Elfin Knight- sung by Peter Christie of 21 Shorehead, Stonehave, Scotland from his mother Margaret Leiper of Pinnon who was 93 when she died in 1919.

[He:]
"Ye maun mak' to me a camerin sark,
An' every rose maun smell o yon thyme,
Without any stitch o' yer sin needle waurk,
Before ye can be a truelover o' mine.

"Ye maun wash it in yonder well,
Where the sun never shone nor the dew never fell,

"Ye maun bleach it on yonder tree,
Where there hisna been blosson sin Adam wis born,"

[She:]
"Questions three ye hae given tee me,
An' as mony mair I will gie unto thee,

"Ye maun ploo me an acre o' land.
Between the sea saut, an' the sand,

"Ye maun ploo it wi' a ram's horn,
An' sew it all along wi' a leepie o' corn,

"An' when yer waurk is finished an' done,
An' every rose maun smell o yon thyme,
Ye'll call upon me for yer camerin sark,
Before ye can be a truelover o' mine.

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 07:15 AM

Thanks for posting, Richie. Interesting to note that Robb's text, though in many respects similar to Child 2A, ends on 'Come to me and ye'll get your sark' (as per the 'Cambric Shirt' strain) rather than 2A's 'My maidenhead I'll keep', which belongs to the 'Elphin Knight' narrative.

I'm still interested in whether the fact that both the Knight and Mistress Nell are to be found on a hill might be coincidental or part of a sequential process.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 10:36 AM

Hi Brian,
It's very common in oral tradition especially with such older pieces for details to be removed from one part of a ballad to another or from one character to another, as forgetting and recreating take their toll.

In this case although there are likely many interim versions that haven't survived it should be possible to postulate some sort of evolutionary lines, and Richie is the best man for the job.

I don't think there has been an in-depth study of this one using all of the extant versions.
It is beginning to look like the ballad originated in London (like many early ballads) but received most of its more drastic evolution in Scotland before being returned to England in a reduced form, where the 'Acre of Land' versions evolved, probably during the 19thc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 12:56 PM

Steve, do you know of an early London copy?

Agree that Richie's work here is terrific.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 01:55 PM

Have you seen the comparison at ...Tell Her To Make Me A Cambric Shirt - From The "Elfin Knight" to "Scarborough Fair" by Juergen Kloss, 2012. He doesn't include all versions (though he does include the Scots Magazine text, but only had access to 1st lines from Carpenter at the time) but makes an attempt at a time lines.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 02:45 PM

I would have said both the Blackletter copies, Child A and B, were very likely printed in London first. The fact that the added chorus is loosely in Scots means very little. The rest of the ballad is in standard English of the time and in the 17thc very little if any ballads were printed outside London. The fact that A was bound up with an Edinburgh piece means very little as does the Scottifying of a few words in B. I can't remember seeing any ballads from Pepys, Euing or Roxburgh (17thc) that weren't printed in London.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 03:04 PM

I've got the Pepys copy in front of me now. 'To be sung with its own pleasant New Tune'.

It has been bound with the following. Mostly no imprint.

The Cripples Race set in Glasgow and mentions Aberdeen and Dunkeld. It is written largely in SE with a sprinkling of Scots words. NI


The Reply and Challenge of King Robert II the first of the Stuarts, unto Henry the fourth King of England. Again in SE with a sprinkling of Scots words. NI

John Robinsons Park, or A Merry fit of Wooing, totally SE, NI

A full version of Chevy Chase, SE , NI

Then our Elphin Knight NI

Christs Kirk on the Green, composed as supposed by James V, lightly sprinkled with Scots pronunciations but the vast majority in SE of the time. NI

Strephon and Clea: or Love in its Prime, seems to be printed on the same sheet as Cuckolds all a-Row, printed by R. Kell at the blew Anchor in Py-corner (London).
Kell was printing at the Blue Anchor 1687-90


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 03:13 PM

I should add that Child says his info on the black letter version came from Pinkerton (not a reliable source) he quotes 'in the Pepysian Library, bound up at the end of a copy of Blind Harry's 'Wallace' Edin. 1673.'


It would appear that the Pepys copy has been placed with other Scots related pieces for publication purposes unless there was more than one copy. I'll have a look at what EBBA have to say about it. It must be on their site.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 03:20 PM

There is a copy at EBBA but their notes show no background or suggested dates.

The reference to 'Wallace' I take to mean the 'King Robert' ballad mentioned above. When I put 'Wallace' into the search box at EBBA this ballad was one of 15 entries.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 04:37 PM

Back to Child No. 1 – it starts, "If you don't answer me questions nine..." and ends "You have answered me questions nine...," but there are only eight questions asked and answered. I demand a refund.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 05:26 PM

In the 15th century riddling was higher on the curriculum than maths.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 09:12 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the posts.

Mick, you're right Kloss is brilliant. I've emailed him about one of his other excellent articles "The Water is Wide" which I used in part for my "died for love" studies. He finds some rare versions and unknown broadsides- TY Kloss.

Brian- her rejection of the Elphin (Elfin) Knight shows he has no magic power over her. The herbs used in the refrains are used to cast off evil spirits or neutralize magical or supernatural powers. Also I've wondered about "the wind hath blown thy Plaid awa" refrain which is a reference to loss of virginity and has spawned a number of songs including one fragment sung by Jeannie Robertson. If you notice in the
Pepys that the end stanzas have changed- the "wind hath -not- blown thy Plaid awa" meaning she has not lost her virginity as reflected in the text of the stanza you mentioned.

Steve- I got my copy of the original Pepys from UCSB English Broadside Ballad Archive. So in your opinion it was printed in London? Are there any other Elfin Knight broadsides that Child missed?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 01:03 PM

Brian- her rejection of the Elphin (Elfin) Knight shows he has no magic power over her.

Yes Richie, I realize that. What is interesting is that the Robb text begins like 'Elfin Knight' but ends like 'Cambric Shirt'. Which might be because one strain was evolving into the other, or that both strains were in general circulation at the same time, and stanzas were transferred from one to the other.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 02:14 PM

This type of possibility can turn into at least probability by detailed study of all versions. Also relevant is the probable amount of literary influence.

For instance to use a more recent example in the same ballad, without looking at the few intermediary versions most people wouldn't have connected The Elphin Knight with An Acre of Land which it most definitely evolved into.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 06:03 PM

Hi,

Here's another older version from the James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/11/311, Disc Side 305, 04:42. Nicol's version, which is the source, is different but similar.

The Elfin Knight- from Alexander Stephens of Turfhill, New Deer, Strichen, learned from Nicol fifty-one years ago (c. 1869)

[He:]
As I gaed up to yonder hill,
Where every rose grew bonnie an' thyme,
I met a fair maid, her name it was Nell,
She longed to be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye'll mak' to me a cambric shirt, [sim.]
An' stitch it all over withoot needle wark,

"Ye will wash it in yonder well,
Where dew never dropped, nor rain never fell,

"Ye will bleach it on yonder green,
Where wind never blew or grass never grew,

"Ye will dry it up on yonder hedge,
Where bud never blossomed since Adam was formed,

[She]
"Questions three you've asked me
An' for as monny mair ye'll answer tee me,

"Ye will ploo me an acre o' Land,
Betwixt the saut water an' the sea sand,

"Ye will harrow it wi' a ram's horn,
An' sow it a' over with a handful o' corn,

"Ye will cut it wi' a cock's feather
An' bind it up wi' the sting o' an ather[1],

"Ye will thack it on yonder sea,
Where every rose grew bonnie an' thyme,
An' bring back that which is still dry tee me,
An' then I will be a true lover o' thine.

When your wark is finished an' ower,
Where every rose grew bonnie an' thyme,
When your wark is finished an' done,
An' then I'll be a true lover of thine.
____________________
1. adder (snake)

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 06:46 PM

Hi,

From James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/3/J, p. 06898. Cf. Alexander Stephens' version.

The Elfin Knight - from Robert Nicol, Aberdeenshire [who knew this fifty-one years ago before it was collected c. 1869]

[He:]
"As I went over yon bonnie high hill,
Where every rose grew bonnie an' thyme,
I met a fair maid her name it was Nell,
She longed to be a true lover o' mine.

"Ye will mak' to me a cambric shirt,
Withoot any stitchin or yet needle work,

"Ye will wash it in yonder well,
Where dew never dropped, nor rain never fell,

"Ye will bleach it on yonder green,
Where gerse[grass] never grew nor wind never blew,
Before ye can be a truelover o' mine

"Ye will dry it up on yonder thorn,
Where bud never blossom sin Adam was born,

[She]
"Questions three ye've asked me
An' for as monny mair ye'll answer tee me,

"Ye will ploo me an acre o' Land,
Atween the saut seas an' the sea sand,

"It's ye will harrow it wi' a ram's horn,
An' sow it a' over wi' one pill o' corn,

"Ye maun cut it wi' a cock's feather
An' bind it up wi' the sting o' an ather,

"Ye will thack it in yonder sea,
Bring back that which is dry tee me,

"Fan [when] ye have finished . . ."

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 07:02 PM

Hi,

There are two fragments in the Carpenter Collection. This is three stanzas- the other is not one stanza. Title is not local.

James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/L, pp. 12067-12068

The Elfin Knight - from John Ross, farmer of Lone Vine Farm, Balintore, Scotland. Heard at a wedding Parish of Nig, west of Balitore.

"O wid ye gie me a cambric shirt,
An' every rose blooms bonnie an' thyme,
An' stitch it along with roses so fine,
Before ye can be a truelover of mine.

"O ye maun wash it in yonder well,
An' every rose blooms bonnie an' thyme,
An' bleach it where grass never grew nor rain never fell,
Before ye can be a truelover of mine.

"Ye will bleach it on yonder green,
An' every rose blooms bonnie an' thyme,
Where rain never fell nor grass never grew,
Before ye can be a truelover of mine.
* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Mar 18 - 10:32 AM

It is interesting to note that in both Stephens' and Nicol's versions 'questions 3' is mentioned whereas in both cases there are 4 tasks at least. These incremental list songs are prone to addition or fluctuation in oral tradition.

In the likely original he sets only 2 tasks (or 2 stanzas) and she replies with 6.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 01 Mar 18 - 08:52 PM

Hi,

Since I did not do the British Child 2 versions (I was waiting for the Carpenter), I'm working on them some before moving on. Here's a short Shetland version that was recently recorded. It uses the Form A which is the same form of the 1670 broadside:

Camric Sark- Sung by Mrs. Margaret Tait, learned from her mother, Mrs. Jemima Robertson, of the Westing, Unst. Collected by Alan Bruford in 1975.

Shue unta me a camric sark,
Blaa, blaa, tear da wind, blaa,
Withoot ether seam or needlewark,
An da wind is blaan me plaidie awaa.

Saa unta me free acres o laand,
Blaa, blaa, tear da wind, blaa,
Atween da saat sea an da sea straand,
An da wind is blaan me plaidie awaa.

Harrow it up wi da teeth o a redder, [comb]
Blaa, blaa, tear da wind, blaa,
Pack it aa inta ae moose holl,
An da wind is blaan me plaidie awaa.

When du's dun an feenisht dee wark,
Blaa, blaa, tear da winds, blaa,
Come ta me an du's get dee sark,
An da wind is blawn me plaidie awaa.

* * * *

My headnotes are halfway done :) http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/british-versions--other-versions--headnotes.aspx There's a nice image of the 1670 broadside on the page.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM

Hi,

I'm working on Child 1-3 and will be covering all Child ballads (mainly British versions)- eventually- with Carpenter versions.

I need help with this old English transcription of Child 1, I briefly did this but I don't understand all the words:

Inter Diabolus Et Virgo c. 1445
Talk [between] Devil and Virgin (Maid)

1   Wol ye here a wonder thynge
Betwyxt a mayd and the fovle fende?
[Narrator:] "Will you hear a wondrous story,
Between a maid and the foul fiend (Devil)?
"

2   Thys spake the fend to the mayd:
'Beleue on me, mayd, to day.
Thus spoke the fiend (Devil) to the maid:
"Believe on me, maid, today.
"

3   'Mayd, mote y thi leman be,
Wyssedom y wolle teche the:
"Maid, if I thy lover be,
Wisdom I will teach thee
."

4   'All the wyssedom off the world,
Hyf thou wolt be true and forward holde.
"All the wisdom of the world (will be yours),
If you wilt be true and mine henceforward.
."

5   'What ys hyer than ys [the] tre?
What ys dypper than ys the see?
"What is higher than is the tree?
What is deeper than is the sea?
"

6   'What ys scharpper than ys the thorne?
What ys loder than ys the horne?
"What is sharper than is the thorn?
What is louder than is the horn?
"

7   'What [ys] longger than ys the way?
What is rader than ys the day?
"What is longer(broader) than is the way?
What is redder than is the day?


8   'What [ys] bether than ys the bred?
What ys scharpper than ys the dede?
"What is better than is the bread?
What is sharper than is death?


9   'What ys grenner than ys the wode?
What ys sweetter than ys the note?
"What is greener than is the woods?
What is sweeter than is the nut?


10   'What ys swifter than ys the wynd?
What ys recher than ys the kynge?
"What is swifter than is the wind?
What is richer than is the king?


11   'What ys yeluer than ys the wex?
What [ys] softer than ys the flex?
"What is yellower than is the wax?
What is softer than is the flax?


12   'But thou now answery me,
Thu schalt for sothe my leman be.'
"But you now answer me,
Thou shall truly my lover be.
"

13   'Ihesu, for thy myld myyth,
As thu art kynge and knyyt,
"Jesus, [I ask] for thy mild might,
As you are king and knight,


14   'Lene me wisdome to answere here ryyth,
And schylde me fram the fovle wyyth!
"Lend me wisdom to answer here right,
And shield me from the foul being!
.

15   'Hewene ys heyer than ys the tre,
Helle ys dypper than ys the see.
"Heaven is higher than is the tree
Hell is deeper than is the sea
.

16   'Hongyr ys scharpper than [ys] the thorne,
Thonder ys lodder than ys the horne.
"Hunger is sharper than is the thorn,
Thunder is louder than is the horn
.

17   'Loukynge ys longer than ys the way,
Syn ys rader than ys the day.
Looking[1] is longer(broader) than is the way,
Sin is redder than is the day
.

18   'Godys flesse ys better than ys the brede,
Payne ys strenger than ys the dede.
"God's flesh[2] is better than is the bread,
Pain is stronger than is death
.

19   'Gras ys grenner than ys the wode.
Loue ys swetter than ys the notte.
"Grass is greener than is the woods,
Love is sweeter than is the nut.


20   'Thowt ys swifter than ys the wynde,
Ihesus ys recher than ys the kynge.
"Thought is swifter than the wind,
Jesus is richer than is the king
.

21   'Safer is yelner than ys the wexs,
Selke ys softer than ys the flex.
"Saffron is yellower than is the wax,
Silk is softer than the flax
.

22   'Now, thu fende, styl thu be;
Nelle ich speke no more with the!'
"Now thou fiend (devil), still thou be,
I will speak no more with thee!
"
______________________

1. "Sight" or "Seeing"
2. The Host, or Holy sacrament
3. Barry and others have "Sulfur"

* * * *

Corrections made to this original, ty.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 01:57 PM

Richie - you'll find it glossed in Lyrics carols ballads - pdf file, page 75.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 02:04 PM

I can't find any translations so these are my guesses only
wol/wolle I would give as 'will'
wolt=wilt, again 'will'
mote, I would say 'might'
'forward hold' 'hold by me' 'stand fast by me.
13 myyth 'might?'
14 'lend me wisdom to answer here right
    And shield me from the foul wight' (being)
17 'loukynge' 'looking' 'longing' (not love)
18 'God's flesh' as in religious ceremonies, breaking bread, body of Jesus etc.
22 'Now thou fiend'
For 'nelle' see Child's Glossary, literally
'will not I speak no more with thee'
Nice to now that double negatives were common in the 15th century just as much as today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 02:29 PM

Great resource, Mick.
I didn't fare too badly with the guesses. Safer/saffron. I should have got that one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 03:30 PM

Hi,

TY for your replies and now it's looking good.

Who is yellower than Saffron?

I'm just mad about Saffron, She's just mad about me

Ans. (Donovan, Mellow Yellow)

I've made corrections to the original- ty

For "forward holde." Mick's source has "compact" and I'm not sure about that stanza and line:

Hyf thou wolt be true and forward holde.

If you wilt be true and forever mine."

Anyone?

Riohie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 04:34 PM

I think the sense is keep me (as husband) from this time forward. holden has many senses (ME Dictionary entry), but this seems to me the most likely.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 04:36 PM

Meant to add: I came across this thesis (1910) on archive: Riddles In German And English Folk Songs. (Haven't read it!).

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 05:42 PM

hold onto me henceforward. I like the economy of language in the 15th century version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 11:41 AM

Hi,

I've finished the changes to Inter Diabolus Et Virgo. I changed "Saffron back to "Sulfur" which I had originally. "Looking" could be "Sight" or "Seeing," -- God's flesh could be "The Host" or "Holy sacrament."

I have the British versions of Child No. 1, "Riddle Wisely Expounded" as:

A*. "Inter Diabolus Et Virgo" acquired by Walter Pollard, of Plymouth, about 1445; the text is taken from Rawlinson MS. D. 328, fol. 174 b., Bodleian Library. Riddling contest between the maid and foul fiend (Devil). Child A*
A. Riddles Wisely Expounded (The knight is mortal) with "The Maid's Answer"
    a1. "A Noble Riddle Wisely Expounded; or, The Maid's Answer to the Knight's Three Questions." Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, I. Wright, and I. Clarke London, between 1674 and 1679. According to Barry, Aa was licensed, March 1, 1675.
    a2. "A Noble Riddle Wisely Expounded; or, The Maid's Answer to the Knight's Three Questions." Printed by Tho. Norris, at the Looking glass on London-bridge, about 1711.
    a3. "A Riddle Wittily Expounded" Pills to Purge Melancholy by Henry Playford, iv, 129, ed. 1719. "II, 129, ed. 1712." Child A.
    a4. "Captain Wedderburn's Courtship[sic]" Jamieson's "Popular Songs and Ballads," 1806.
    a5. "Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom;" Dixon (from print) edited by Bruce and Stokoe, 1882.
B. "The Three Sisters" from Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, pp. 65-67. Child B is probably based on A.
C. "The Unco Knicht's Wowing" Motherwell's Manuscript, p. 647. From the recitation of Mrs. Storie of Lochwinnoch. Child C.
D. "Gar Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom" from Motherwell's Manuscript, p. 142; dated c.1825.
E. "There was a Lady in the West" traditional in Miss Mason's mother's family, the Mitfords, of Mitford, Northumberland. From Miss M.H. Mason's Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs, p. 31; sung in Northumberland.
F. ["What's greener than the grass?"] fragment from Rev. William Findlay's MSS, I, 151, from J. Milne of Arbroath; dated c. 1865 but possibly later. From Additions and Corrections but not given a letter designation by Child.
G. "A Knight (Old Riddle Song)- sung Thomas Smart (1838-1919) of Blunsdon St Andrew, Wiltshire, published in 1915. Collected by Alfred Williams. Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 16th October, 1915 p 2, Part 3, No. 1: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 37.

If anyone knows of an additional British version let me know,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 02:42 PM

"If anyone knows of an additional British version let me know"

I daresay it doesn't really count count, but Harry Green's recitation 'The Pear Tree' (Veteran VT135CD) includes the 'Higher than the tree / Deeper than the sea' and 'Louder than the horn / Sharper than the thorn' riddles and answers, in a completely different context.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 03:36 PM

Richie, have you got the 18th century slip song version of Elfin Knight from the Madden Collection 'The Humours of Love'? Or the one printed by Deeming 'Love Letter and Answer'?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 03:38 PM

Richie,

> I changed "Saffron back to "Sulfur".

Just picking up on this one detail, it seems to me that saffron makes better sense, being an intense yellow rather than pale yellow. And saffron is the gloss in the document that Mick linked to. Saffron also had (and still has ) an associated industry; we still have a town in England called Saffron Walden; so it was something that a lot of people would have heard of, even if few could afford it. Whereas most people apart from alchemists would not have heard of sulphur by that name, though they might well have heard of "brimstone".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 03:49 PM

I'm with you Richard, but I think Richie just got his words wrong way round. He probably meant to say 'I changed 'sulfur' to 'saffron'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 05:24 PM

Saffron is the translation given by UMich ME Dict: Saffroun. Sulphur would be Sulphur/sulfre/solfre (and other).

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 05:53 PM

Hi,

I'm almost done with my headnotes to Child 1, a rough version is here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/english-versions-and-other-versions.aspx

Here's an excerpt:

C, "The Unco Knight's Wowing [Mysterious Knight's Wooing]" by Mrs. Storie of Lochwinnoch (dated c.1925) was taken by Child from Motherwell's MS. The text is the most complete traditional exemplar of the older original ballad. Scottish C, found in Motherwell's MS copy is now corroborated by another authentic copy from the same informant, Mary Macqueen Storie which was published in Crawfurd's Collection by Emily Lyle. Mary Ann Macqueen (also MacQueen, McQueen) was born in 1803 to parents Osbourne and Elizabeth (Copeland) McQueen of Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland and lived in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire. She married Willie Storie in 1821 at the age of 18. Crawfurd wrote "The same Mary Macqueen has a great number of auld ballads which I had fished out of her for Mr. William Motherwell" (Lyle 1975-1996/1: xxx). Her brother, Thomas was a poet and collected ballads for Motherwell. Curiously, one of the great Scottish ballad singers moved with her family to Ontario, Canada in 1829. Thomas MacQueen also moved to Ontario and was the founder and publisher of The Huron Signal newspaper until his death in 1861[]. That area is now known as Renfrew County after the Macqueen's home county of Renfrewshire in Scotland. For a time Mary Macqueen Storie moved to Utah (US) with her daughter, Elizabeth. Mary died in Renfrew County, Ontario in 1877.

The "Unco Knight" of Child C is the Devil. Important is MacQueen's ending, which is a superstition found in ballads and rooted in the Bible[]-- if you call the Devil by name, he will flee from you. When the maid uses the Devil's name (the Fiend) in her answer to the last riddle, she wins the riddling contest and banishes him.

18 The Peas are greener than the grass
Sing the claret banks tae the bonny broom
An' the Fiend is waur than a woman's wuss[wish],
An' ye may beguile a young thing sune.

19 As sune as she the Fiend did name
Sing the claret banks tae the bonny broom
He flew awa in a fierie flam,
An' ye may beguile a young thing sune.

A comparison of the two texts by Motherwell and Crawfurd gives some insight into Motherwell's editing. He changes for example "the Fiend is waur[worse]" to "And Clootie's waur."

* * * *

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 05:57 PM

OK, Ok enough already :)

I'm just mad about "Saffron"-- Donovan was right!! (I changed it back, see translation above- a few posts back) The proper color now is Mellow Yellow!

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 06:41 PM

Richie, see my question of 3.36


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 07:13 PM

Richie - Just going back to Inter Diabolus Et Virgo for a minute.

I think the 2nd line of [4] should be:
  If you wilt be true and mine henceforward.
rather than beholden. I think the sense of holde is similar to its use into have and to hold

The 2nd line of [22] should be just:
  I will speak no more with thee!
The 2 negatives are a function of the Middle English and I don't think you need them in the translation.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 08:22 PM

Hi,

Yes Mick- Ty for the improvements- I agree. I have already rewritten what I just posted about the MacQueens. The curious thing was that two leading Scottish ballad sources (singer and collector) came to Ontario and nothing more was heard of their Scottish ballads. Since Mary moved to Utah with her daughter for a number of years, you'd think some relic would have emerged from the Utah hills, but no- nothing. She had over ten children and her brother had children too.

Yes Steve, I've had the Deming 'Love Letter and Answer' 9 years ago but it was from Barry's reprint in British Ballads from Maine. Barry also had "Sulfur" and some extensive commentary about Child No. 1 in BFSSNE (a rare book of his Folk Song Society newsletters) which he edited until his death in 1937. I've had the Kloss and Edmund articles on my site for years-- so I've had "The Humours of Love" too, TY

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 20 July 10:19 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.