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Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2

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Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads (132) (closed)


Richie 21 Mar 18 - 01:41 PM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 01:09 AM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 09:38 AM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 09:52 AM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Mar 18 - 02:09 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Mar 18 - 03:30 PM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 04:16 PM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 04:33 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Mar 18 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Mar 18 - 07:39 PM
Richie 22 Mar 18 - 11:22 PM
Richie 23 Mar 18 - 07:25 PM
Richie 23 Mar 18 - 09:17 PM
Richie 25 Mar 18 - 06:30 PM
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Richie 02 Apr 18 - 11:38 AM
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Richie 04 Apr 18 - 08:45 AM
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Richie 04 Apr 18 - 11:49 PM
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Subject: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 01:41 PM

Hi,

Once a thread get too long, it's hard to pull up-- the info is hidden in the middle somewhere and it's hard find. So, this is James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads, Part 2. Rather than rehash Child 1-3 I'd rather begin with Child 4 (Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight) although it's ok to include new info about those ballads here.

TY to all the "catters" who have contributed exploring the Carpenter versions (plus UK versions) and the Child ballads.

I'll start Child 4 with a fragment of a version collected in North Carolina from James York an excellent singer, who, along with his wife contributed ballads and songs to the Brown Collection. I'll put the Brown text below Carpenter's for comparison

Child 4: James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/7/1/C, p. 10673
[no date but around 1940]

Title: False Sir John
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight

1. He followed me up, he followed me down,
He followed me into the room.
I had no power for to speak one word,
No tongue to answer nay, nay, nay
No tongue to answer nay.

2. So bring me some of your father's gold,
And some of your mother's fee,
And I will take you to Scotland,
And there I'll marry thee, thee, thee,
And there I'll marry thee.

_____________________

Brown Collection:

C. 'The Seventh King's Daughters.' Sung by Mrs. James York. Recorded by Dr. W. A. Abrams at Olin, Iredell county, 1940, from original at Boone, August 8, 1940.

1. He followed me up, he followed me down,
He followed me into the room.
I had no arms for to force him away,
No tongue to say him nay, nay, nay
No tongue to say him nay.

2. So bring me some of your father's gold,
And some of your mother's fee,
And I will take it to Scotland,
And there I'll marry thee, thee, thee,
And there I'll marry thee.

* * * *


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 01:09 AM

Hi,

From: James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/B, p. 11501. The dialect is inconsistent.

Fause Sir John- sung by Peter Christie of 21 Shorehead, Stonehave, Scotland. Learned from Mary Christie of Newton Hill, fifty-two years ago. Recording date not given, c. 1930. He is a relative of Mrs James Christie, see next post.

1 Fause Sir John has gane frae hame,
To view the king's dochter fair;
Six long years he's courted her
And the seventh he's ta'en her name.

2 It's ye'll tak some o' yer father's gowd.
An' some o' your mother's fee,
And twa o' the best staigs oot o the stable
Faur there stands thirty-three.

3 An' she's taen some o' her father's gowd.
An' some o' her mother's fee,
An' twa o' the best steegs oot o' the stable
Faur there stood thirty an' three.

4    She mounted on the white melk steeg,
An' he on the steeble sae gay,
Until they cam tae Lord Cumberland's water,
Three hours before it was day.

5   Licht off, licht off, your white melk steeg
An' deliver them all up to me;
For it's six pretty maidens I ha'e droont here
And the seventh one thou shalt be.

6    'Cast off, cast off, your silken goon,
And deliver them all tee me,
For it is to good an' too costly a robe
To roll a' in the saut sea.

7 'Cast off, cast off, silken stays,
An' deliver them all up to me;
For it's six pretty maidens I ha'e droont here
And the seventh one thou shalt be.

8 "If I have to cast off my silken stay,
Ye will turn your back to me,
For it disna become o' a single man
A naked woman to see."

9  He's turned himself richt roon aboot,
For ti pu the greenleaf o' the tree;
When she's taen him in her arms twa
An' thrown him in the sea.

10   He's dipped high an' he's dipped low,
An' he dipped to the side;,
"It's take my hand, ye wild woman,
An' ye shall be my bride."

11 "O lie there, lie there, ye false Sir John,
Ye lie there instead o' me;
For it's six pretty maidens ye ha'e droont here
But the seventh ane's droont thee."

12   She's mounted on her white melk steeg,
An' she rode by the licht o' the moon,
Until she came tae her father's gate
And there she's lichted doon.

13 The parrot sat in the window so high;
T o her the Parrot did say,
"Where hae you been, ye pretty fair maid
That ye've tarried so long away?"

14 "Hide weel, hide weel, my pretty parrot,
"Hide weel, hide weel, on me;
An' you shall be o the reid, reid wine,
An' your cage o' the ivory."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 09:38 AM

Hi,

Child 4 from James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/B, p. 11506. Inconsistent dialect, Mrs James Christie (Mrs. Margaret Christie) also sing a different variant of Child 4.

False Sir John- sung by Mrs James Christie (b. 1863), 9 Newton Hill, Scotland. Margaret learned from mother, Jean Christie , 40 Newton Hill, born in 1833 - Isabella Christie, 1826. Related to Peter Christie.

1. Fause Sir John has gone from home,
To view the king's dochter in Spain,
He's courted her for seven long years
And has her favors gained.

2 Ye'll tak some of yer father's gold.
And some of his white [wife's] money,
And ye'll tak yen o yer father's white staigs
Faur there lies thirty-three.

3 And she's taen some o' her father's gold.
And some o' his white[wife's] money,
And she took yen o' her father's white staigs
Faur there lay thirty-three.

4 She mounted on upon her white staig,
And they rode by the light o the moon,
Until they come to Northumberland's water,
And there they lighted doon.

5 "Ye'll tak off that goon o silk,
And spread it on yonder steen,
For it is too good an' too costly a robe
To travel the saut sea sand.

6 "Ye'll turn ye roon, ye Fause Sir John,
And you'll pull the green leaves o' the tree,
For it does nae become a single man,
A naked woman to see."

7 He turned himself right roon aboot,
To pull the green leaves o' the tree;
She's taen him in her arms twa
And she's thrown him in the sea.

8 "Ye'll lie there, ye False Sir John,
Lie there as well as me;
You was to drown me as sure as I was born
But your clothes can go with thee."

9 She's mounted on her milk white steed,
And she rode by the light o' the moon,
Until she came to her father's gate
And there she lichted doon.

10 She put the white steed in its stable,
And the money where it did lie,
And straight she went to her bed chamber
Where her father did lie.

11. [Parrot:] "Where now's this Fause Sir John
That he's walking wi' thee."
"Hide weel, hide weel, my pretty parrot,
Great secrets hide on me;
Your cage shall be o the beaten gowd,
And your wings of ivory."

12. Up speaks her old father,
And a bold, bold man was he,
"What said ye, my pretty parrot,
That you're prattling a' the day?"

13 Up speaks her old mother,
And a gay old woman was she,
"You'll rue, you'll rue, my pretty daughter,
You'll rue that you've gane away."

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 09:52 AM

Hi,

This is "The Western Knight," dated 1629, similar to (see Rollins notes below) "The Western Tragedy" c. 1749 (ref. Motherwell) which is similarly found in Child D. The similarity, however, is only one line and a vague reference to a bird in a cage.

From: A Pepysian garland: black-letter broadside ballads of the years 1595-1639 by Samuel Pepys; Hyder Edward Rollins.

53. The Western Knight

Pepys, i, 312, B.L., four woodcuts, four columns.

This ballad was licensed as "Western Knight" on June 1, 1629 (Aiber's Transcript, iv, 213). It is a romance with possibly a traditional ballad as a source and with a few traditional features. Of somewhat similar nature are "The False Lover Won Back" and "Child Waters" in F. J. Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Nos. 63 and 218). Even closer is the resemblance to the early part of Child's No. 4, "Lady Isabel and the ElfKnight," which in one stall copy (dating about 1749) is, as Professor Child noted (op. cit. 1, 23), called "The Western Tragedy." Professor Kittredge remarks that the Harvard College Library has an American edition of "The Western Tragedy" that was printed late in the eighteenth, or early in the nineteenth, century.

The Westerne Knight, and the young Maid of Bristoll,
Their loves and fortunes related.
To a pretty amorous tune.

IT was a yong knight borne in the West,
    that led a single life,
And for to marry he thought it best
   because he lackt a wife.

And on a day he him bethought,
    as he sate all alone,
How he might be to acquaintance brought,
    with some yong pretty one.

What luck, alas, (quoth he) have I
    to live thus by my selfe?
Could I find one of faire beauty,
    I would not sticke for pelfe.

Oh, had I one though nere so poore,
    I would her not reject:
I have enough, and aske no more,
    so she will me affect.

With that his man he then did call
    that nere unto him staid,
To whom he soone unfolded all,
    and unto him he said,

Come saddle me my milke white Steed,
    that I may a wooing ride,
To get some bonny Lasse with speed,
    whom I may make my Bride.

On horsebacke mounted the gallant young knight,
    and to try his fate he went,
To seeke some Damsell faire and bright,
    that might his mind content.

And as he through Bristoll Towne did ride,
    in a fine window of Glasse,
A gallant Creature he espide,
   in the Casement where she was.

His heart then taught his tongue to speake
   as soone as he her saw,
He unto her his mind did breake,
   compel'd by Cupids Law.

Faire Maid, quoth he, long may you live,
    and your body Christ save and see,
Five hundred Crownes I will you give,
    to set your love on me.

Though I am faire, quoth she, in some sort,
    yet am I tender of age,
And want the courtesie of the Court,
    to be a yong Knights Page.

A Page, thou gallant Dame, quoth she
    I meane thee not to make:
But if thou love me, as I love thee,
    for my Bride I will thee take.

If honestly you meane, quoth she,
    that I may trust your word,
Yours to command I still will be,
    at bed and eke at boord.

The second part. To the same tune.

THen he led her by the lilly white hand,
   up and downe a Garden greene,
What they did, I cannot understand,
    nor what passed them betweene.

When he to her had told his mind,
    and done what he thought best,
His former promises so kind,
    he turned to a Jest.

Yet he gave to her a Ring of gold,
    to keep as her owne life:
And said, that in short time he would,
    come and make her his wife.

Then mounted he upon his Steed,
    and rode from the Damsell bright,
Saying he would fetch her with speed,
    but he forgot it quite.

When fifteene weeks were come and gone,
    the Knight came riding by,
To whom the Lasse with grievous moane,
    did thus lament and cry.

Sir Knight, remember your vow, quoth she
    that you to me did say,
With child, alas, you have gotten me,
    and you can it not denay.

So mayst thou be, quoth he, faire Flowre,
    and the child be none of mine,
Unlesse thou canst tell me the houre,
    and name to me the time.

Full fifteene weeks it is, quoth she,
    that you lay my body by;
A gay gold Ring you gave to me,
    how can you this deny?

If I (quoth he) my gold Ring gave,
    to thee, as to my friend,
Then must not thinke I meane to have
    thee till my life doth end.

Nor do I meane to take for my wife,
    a Lasse that is so meane
That shall discredit me all my life,
    and all my kindred cleane.

Quoth she, false Knight, why didst thou then
    procure my overthrow,
Oh, now I see that faithlesse men,
    will sweare, yet meane not so.

Now may I live from joyes exilde,
    like a bird kept in a Cage,
For I am fifteen weeks gone with child,
    and but fourteen yeares of age.

Farewel, farewel, thou faithlesse Knight,
    sith thou wilt me forsake,
Oh heavens grant all Maidens bright,
    by me may warning take.

When as the Knight did heare what she
    poore harmelesse wretch did say,
It mov'd his heart, and quickly he
    made her a Lady gay.

Printed at London for F. Coules. FINIS.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 10:43 AM

Hi,

I presume this chapbook version, which is "Founded on fact" is similar to "Western Tragedy";

THE HISTORICAL BALLAD
of
May Culzean,

Founded on fact.
With, A poem on the times.
[Ayrshire: Printed by D. Macarter & Co, [1817-1818]. In verse.]
Tune-Gil Morrice.

HAVE ye not heard of fause Sir John?
Wha liv’d in the west country,
How he has betray’d eight damsels fair,
And drown’d them in the sea ?

Now he’s awa to May Culzean,
She was her father’s heir,
The greatest beauty o’ the land
I solemnly declare.

“Thou art the darling o’ my heart,
“He says, fair May Culzean,
“Thou far exceed’st the beauties all,
“That ever I hae seen.

And I’m a Knight of wealth and might,
“Of Town lands twenty-three,
And yes be the lady o’ them a’,
"Fair May, if ye’ll gae wi’ me.

Excuse me then, she said Sir John,
   "To wed I am owre young,
Unless I hae my parent’s leave,
   "Wi’ you I dare na gang.

But he’s taen a charm frae aft his arm
   "And stuck it on her sleeve,”
Til he has made her follow him
   Without her parents’ leave.

Gold and jewels she has taen
   "Wi' her five hundred pound,
I the bravest horse her father had,
    he’s taen to ride upon.

merrily they rod along,
fade neither stop nor stay,
Til they came to the fatal place,
Which is called, Benan Bay.

Light down, light down, now May Culzean,
Light down, and speak to me,
For here have I drowned eight damsels fair,
And the ninth ane ye shall be.

“Cast aff, cast aff thy Jewels fine,
   So coastly rich and brave,
“ For they’re too coastly and too good,
“ To sink in the sea wave.

“ Her jewels fine she then put aff,
“ And thus she made her moan,
“ Have mercy on a virgin young,
“ I pray thee, sweet Sir John.

“ Cast aff thy coats, and gay manteel,
“ And smock o’ Holland lawm,
“ For their owre costly and owre guid,
“ To rot in the sea sawn.

“ Then turn thee round, I pray Sir John,
“ See the leaf flee owre the tree,
“ For it never befitted a book learned man,
“ A naked lady to see.

“ As fause Sir John did turn him round,
“ To see the leaf flee owre the tree
“ She grasped him in her arms sma’
“ And flung him in the sea.

“Now lie ye there ye wild Sir John,
    “Whar ye thought to lay me,
   "ye wad hae drown’d me as naked’s I was born
“ But ye’s get your claes frae me.

   Your jewels coastly, rich and rare
She straight puts on again,
She lightly springs upon her horse
And leads his by the rein.

His lady dear, was void of fear,
Her steeds were swift and free,
And she reached her father’s lofty towers,
Before the clock struck three.

And first she met the stable groom,
He was her waiting man,
And when he heard his lady’s voice,
He ran with cap in han’

Whar hae ye been, fair May Culzean ?
"Wha owns this dapple gray ?
"that’s a foundling, she replied,
Which I got on my way.”

Then out and spake the green parrot,
    "He says, fair May Culzean,
what hae ye done wi’ yon brave Knight
That gied wi’ you yestreen ?

Haud your tongue my pretty parrot,
"An’ I’se be kind to thee,
For where ye got ae handfu’ o’ groats
   My parrot shall get three.

“ Then out and spake her father dear,
“ From the chamber where he lay,
“ What is it ails my pretty parrot
   That he speaks so long e'er day?

“ There came a cat into my cage
“ Had nearly worried me,
"And I was calling on May Culzean
“ To come and set me free.”

And first she told her father dear,
Of the deed that she had done,
And likewise to her mother dear,
Concerning fause Sir John.

So aff they sent with one consent,
By dawning of the day,
Until they came to the Carleton sands;
And there his corpse it lay.

His body tall, by that great fall
Was dashed too and fro,
The golden ring that he had on.
Was broke in pieces two.

And they hae taken up his corpse
To yonder pleasant green,
And there they buried fause Sir John,
For fear he should be seen.
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 02:09 PM

Richie I made an inventory of the 83 Carpenter entries and summarised them as follows. I was going to send this by pm, but my password is not what I thought it was and Joe hasn't got back to me yet. So in case this is of any use I'll post it here.

It's unclear from the index whether James/Jas Mason was just a misreading of James Masson, or is separate.

Mick




Carpenter Child 4 - List of Performers:
=======================================

Format Types
------------
music                   - Music only
musicText               - Music and Text
musicTextFrag          - Music and Fragmentary Text
musicSML                - Music single line melody
musicSMLText            - Music single line melody with words
audio                   - Audio record or cylinder
text                   - Text only
textFrag                - Fragmentary text only


Performer List
--------------

James Christie                         (audio, mslt, msltf)

Peter Christie                         (audio, musicSML, musicSMLText, musicText, text)

Mrs James Christie                      (audio, musicSMLText, musicText, text)

William Hands                           (musicSMLText, musicText, text)
William Hands/Loud Mouth Singer         (audio)

Mrs Becky F Jones (*USA*)               (text)

(Professor) Madison, G.R (*USA*)       (text, textFrag)

James Mason (x1)                        (audio)
Jas Mason   (x1)                        (musicSMLText)

James Masson                            (musicSML, musicSMLText, musicText, text)

William Newman                         (text)

Mrs Sarah Phelps                        (musicSMLText, musicText, text)

John Sutherland                         (audio, musicSMLText, musicText, text)

James York (*USA*)                      (text)

William Butler                         (musicSMLText, musicTextFrag)
Wm Butler                               (musicSML)

*Not Given*                            (musicSMLText, text)


No Definite Id
--------------
Butler?                                 (audio)
Man Singer/William Butler?             (audio)
Woman Singer/Sarah Phelps?             (audio)
Loud-Mouth Singer near Evesham          (audio)
Man Singer near Bampton in the Bush    (audio)



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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 03:30 PM

In what way is 'The Western Knight' and antecedent of 'The Western Tragedy'?


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 04:16 PM

Hi,

The Aryshire version a true ballad, "founded on fact" is the rumored murder of Sir John Cathcart, the laird of Carleton Castle, by May Colzean, a daughter of Kennedy of Culzean (later Earl of Cassillis).

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 04:33 PM

Thanks Mick,

Hi Steve, I don't get it either. According to Hyder Edward Rollins (see his notes), there is a relationship but aside from mounting a white steed: "Come saddle me my milke white Steed" and the "bird in a cage" reference at the end there's no similarity. I just saw that in my notes from seven years ago and thought I'd get some feedback on it. Sorry for calling it an antecedent-- it was Rollins who did the notes.

I am interested in get older versions so "you da man" for that. The other text is from National Library of Scotland:
http://digital.nls.uk/chapbooks-printed-in-scotland/archive/104184173

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 06:03 PM

The adaptation (Scots version) may well be founded on the story of some Scots laird, but the basic plot is much older and well spread around Europe as a glance at Child will tell. It is even not certain which came first, the English version (The Outlandish Knight) or the Scottish version (May Colven). I don't have much in the way of older printed versions. None of the extant printed English versions predate 1800. It would be useful to have the Boston text.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 07:39 PM

It's listed in Harvard's catalogue as available if anyone's there, with marginal notes by Kittredge.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 11:22 PM

Hi,

I'll ask then they've been helpful in the past.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 07:25 PM

Hi,

From James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/5/3/A, p. 09093, there's another James Mason (also Masson) from Stonehaven who is an informant for Carpenter. Amusing, at least mildly, is "He's courted her butt,"

May Colvin - sung by James Mason of 4 Dawson's Building, Stonehaven, Scotland about 1930

1 Fause Sir John his a wooin' gaen,
Tae a maiden o' beauty rare;
May Colvin it was that lady's name
Her father's only heir.

2 He's courted her but[t], he's courted her ben,
An' he's courted her enti the hall,
Until he's gotten this lady's consent
It's for ti mount and ride awa'.

3 She's gaen enti her father's coffrum[1],
It's where his money lies,
She's taen the red and left the white,
And lightly she has tripped awa'.

4. She's gaen enti her father's stable,
It's just where a' his stablings stands,
She's taen the best an' left the worst,
That was enti her father's lands.

5. It's he's rode on, an' she's rode on
They rode a lang, lang summer's day;
Until they came tae a a broad river,
An erum o' the lonesome sea.

6. Loup off your steed, May Colvin,
Your bridal bed you see;
It's seven king's daughters I ha'e droont here
An' the eighth one I'll mak o' thee.

7   "Cast aff, cast aff, yer silks sae fine,
An' lay them on the stane,
They are too fine an' costilee
For to rot i' the saut-sea fame.

7 "Cast aff, cast off, yer hollin' smock,
An' lay them on the stane,
They are too fine an' costilee
For to rot i' the saut-sea fame.

8 "It's tern ye roon, ye Fause Sir John,
An' view the green leaves on the tree,
For it disna become a single man
A naked woman ti see."

9 He's tarned himself richt an' roon aboot,
Ti view the green leaves far off the trees;
An' she's taen him in her ain arms twa
An' thrown him headlong in the sea.

10 "It's haud yer grip, May Colvin," he cries,
For fear that I should droon."
"Ye lie nae in a colder bed,
Nor the een ye intended for me."

11 She's looped on her father's steed,
As fast as she could flee,
She's reached her father's lofty tower
By the dawning o the day.

12 It's up and speaks the pretty parrot
In the cage where it does lie,
"O what's become of auld Sir John
That he behind thee death na stay?"

13 "It's haud yer tongue, ye pretty parrot,
An lay not the blame on me;
An' yer cage shall be made o the beaten gowd,
An' the spakes o' ivory."
_______________

1. coffers
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 09:17 PM

Hi,

A second version (Child 4B) from Mrs Margaret Christie from James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/B, p. 11506. Uses the "Lord Lovel" ending.

"Water o the Weary Well," sung by Mrs James Christie of 9 Newton Hill, learned from Jean Christie (b. 1833).

1. Step in, step in, my lady fair,
Nae harm shall thee befall;
For ofttimes here I've watered my steed
In the water o Weary Well, Well,
In the water o Weary Well.

2. The firstan step that she stepped in,
She stepped tee the knee;
An' sichen says the king's daughter,
This water's nae for me, me,
This water's nae for me.

3. "Step in, step in, my lady fair,
Nae harm shall thee befall;
For ofttimes here I've watered my steed
Wi the water o Weary Well, Well,
Wi' the water o Weary Well.

4. The neistan step that she stepped in,
She stepped tee the middle;
An' sichen says the king's daughter,
I've wat my gowden girdle, girdle,
I've wat my gowden girdle.

5. "Step in, step in, my lady fair,
Nae harm shall thee befall;
For ofttimes here I've watered my steed
Wi the water o Weary Well, Well,
Wi' the water o Weary Well.

6. The neistan step that she stepped in,
She stepped tee chin;
An' sichen says the king's daughter,
This would gar twa loves twyne, twyne,
This would gar twa loves twyne.

7 "Seven king's dochters I've droont here,
I' the water o the Weary Well,
And I'll mak you the eight yen ower them a'.
An' I'll ring the common bell bell,
An' I'll ring the common bell.

8 "O I am standing here," says she,
"This dowie death ti die,
Gin I had one kiss o your comely lips
I'm sure would comfort me, me,
I'm sure would comfort me.

9 He leaned him ower his high saddle,
Ti kiss her cheek an' chin,
An' she's taen him in her arms twa,
An' thrown him headlong in, in,
An' thrown him headlong in.

10. "Gin seven king's daughters ye've droont here,
In the water o the Weary Well,
I'll mak ye bridegroom ower them a',
An' I'll ring the bell mysel', sel'
An' I'll ring the bell mysel'."

11 Then aye she warsled, an' aye she swam,
Till she swam tee dry land;
She thanked God most cheerfully
For the danger she ower gane [came], gane,
For the danger she ower gane.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 25 Mar 18 - 06:30 PM

Hi,

The Wells o' Wearie are located in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park at the foot of Arthur's Seat. They were located in private ground at the south end opposite Samson's Ribs and near the route of one of Scotland's first railways which opened in 1831.

Several Scottish songs from the early 1800s have a similar refrain. Among them are:

1. A song based on tradition by Perth native Alexander Maclagan (b. 1811) which is titled. "Wells o' Wearie" and begins:

"I daur ye meet me! I daur ye by the dirk!
And I'se meet thee, ne'er fear ye!
I sall rin thee through an' through, and slay thee in the mirk,
By the gloomie, gloomie Wells o' Wearie!"

2. A song by Alexander A. Ritchie who was born at Edinburgh, in 1816 titled Wells o' Wearie. Here are the first two stanzas:

Sweetly shines the sun on auld Edinbro' toun,
And mak's her look young and cheerie;
Yet I maun awa' to spend the afternoon
At the lanesome Wells o' Wearie.

And you maun gang wi' me, my winsome Mary Grieve,
There's nought in the world to fear ye;
For I ha'e ask'd your minnie, and she has gi'en ye leave
To gang to the Wells o' Wearie.

Motherwell wrote a poem titled "Wearie's well" which doesn't have a similar line.

"Water o the Weary Well," sung by Mrs James Christie is Child B but it's missing the opening stanzas.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 25 Mar 18 - 09:37 PM

Hi,

From James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/8/1/K, pp. 12032-12033. Missing stanzas between 2 and 3 plus the 'parrot" ending. Almost no dialect.

May Colzean - sung by John Sutherland of Balruddery, Latheron, Caithness, Scotland. Learned from his mother, Margaret Cumming Sutherland about 1870

1 Fause Sir John his a wooing came,
To a maid of beauty rare;
May Colzean was this lady's name
Her father's only heir.

2 He courted her up, he courted her down,
He courted her into the hall,
Until he got this maid's consent
To mount and ride awa'.

3. He rode on, and she rode on
As fast as they could gae;
Until they reached a lonesome part,
An hour before it was day.

4. "Light down, light down, thou May Colzean,
Light down, light down, said he;
Here I have drowned seven lady's fair
The eighth one thou shalt be."

5. "Put off, put off, your jewels fine,
Put off your silken gown,
They are too fine and costlie
To rot in the salt sea foam.

6. "If I put off my silken gown,
Look you to the leaf of the tree,
For it nevr became a gentleman
A naked woman to see."

7. He's turned himself right 'round about,
To the leaf far of the tree;
She's twined her arms around his waist
And thrown him into the sea.

8. "O help, O help now, May Colzean,
O help or else I drown.
I'll take you home to your father's ha',
And safely set ye down."

9. "No help, no help, thou Fause Sir John
No help or pity for thee;
Here hast thou frowned seven ladies fair,
The eighth hast drowned thee."

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 25 Mar 18 - 10:19 PM

Hi,

Apparently "Water o the Weary Well," sung by Mrs James Christie is only the third extant version of Child B. The introduction (2 stanzas) is only found in Buchan's version which he also gave Motherwell.

The other is a fragment from Amelia Harris which Child gives in his end-notes:

43 Mony a time I rade wi my brown foal
      The water o Wearie's Wells,
'Leave aff, leave aff your gey mantle,
      It 's a' gowd but the hem;
Leave aff, leave [aff], it's far owre gude
      To weet i the saut see faem.'
5 She wade in, an he rade in,
      Till it took her to the knee;
Wi sighin said that lady gay
      'Sic wadin's no for me.'
* * *
9 He rade in, and she wade in,
      Till it took her to the chin;
Wi sighin said that ladie gay
      'I'll wade nae farer in.'
103 'Sax king's dochters I hae drowned,
      An the seventh you sail be.'
* * *
13 'Lie you there, you fause young man,
      Where you thought to lay me.'

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 26 Mar 18 - 12:19 AM

Hi,

In his headnotes of Lady Isabel, Child's assertion in his first footnote ['The Elfin Knight' begins very much like A, but perhaps has borrowed its opening stanzas from this ballad] seems backwards to me. Buchan's text (Child A) is called "unreliable" by Ebsworth and considering Buchan's version is 150 later, it's likely that Child 4A is a recreation from 2A, the 1670 broadside.

Child 4A has no corroboration nor do the first two stanzas of 4B, also from Buchan. Child 4C published by Herd in 1776 may have been taken from an earlier print of Child 4D.

The ballad story of 4C and 4D seem to be the authentic story. This is not to say the Fause Sir John doesn't have a magical power over the maid to get her to ride away with him-- that power is a magic charm: "a charm frae aft his arm" which he attaches to her sleeve.

The Carpenter Collection's "May Colvin" sung by James Mason seems to be a version of Child C.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 26 Mar 18 - 02:44 PM

Hi,

The oldest extant version is "The False Knight Outwitted: A New Song" which is Child 4F, from Roxburghe Ballads, III, 449. In the catalogue of the British Museum it's listed "London? 1710?" A reprint date of 1780 is confirmed. There's no narrative introduction and it has an abbreviated ending with the "parrot" stanzas. The girl's name is "pretty Polly." It may be viewed online here: http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/ballad/31135/transcription

1    'Go fetch me some of your father's gold,
And some of your mother's fee,
And I'll carry you into the north land,
And there I'll marry thee.'

2    She fetchd him some of her father's gold,
And some of her mother's fee;
She carried him into the stable,
Where horses stood thirty and three.

3    She leapd on a milk-white steed,
And he on a dapple-grey;
They rode til they came to a fair river's side,
Three hours before it was day.

4    'O light, O light, you lady gay,
O light with speed, I say,
For six knight's daughters have I drowned here,
And you the seventh must be.'

5    'Go fetch the sickle, to crop the nettle
That grows so near the brim,
For fear it should tangle my golden locks,
Or freckle my milk-white skin.'

6    He fetchd the sickle, to crop the nettle
That grows so near the brim,
And with all the strength that pretty Polly had
She pushd the false knight in.

7    'Swim on, swim on, thou false knight,
And there bewail thy doom,
For I don't think thy cloathing too good
To lie in a watry tomb.'

8    She leaped on her milk-white steed,
She led the dapple grey;
She rid till she came to her father's house,
Three hours before it was day.

9    'Who knocked so loudly at the ring?'
The parrot he did say;
'O where have you been, my pretty Polly,
All this long summer's day?'

10    'O hold your tongue, parrot,
Tell you no tales of me;
Your cage shall be made of beaten gold,
Which is now made of a tree.'

11    O then bespoke her father dear,
As he on his bed did lay:
'O what is the matter, my parrot,
That you speak before it is day?'

12    'The cat's at my cage, master,
And sorely frighted me,
And I calld down my Polly
To take the cat away.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 11:38 AM

Hi,

This heavily rewritten print version comes from an unknown informant who sent a letter to the editor which was printed in The Table Book, Volume 1, p. 129 by William Hone. The informant lived on Grange-road Bermondsey (London Borough of Southwark, in south London), and dated his letter Jan. 8, 1827.

What interesting is his notes which date the print version (Outlandish Knight) of John Pitts (London printer 1765- 1844), who he talked with about the ballad, back to c.1802 and further back to the late 1700s as printed by Pitt's employer John Marshall, son of printer Richard Marshall (d. 1779):

AN INEDITED BALLAD.

To the Editor.

Dear Sir, —A friend of mine, who resided for some years on the borders, used to amuse himself by collecting old ballads, printed on halfpenny sheets, and hawked up and down by itinerant minstrels. In his common-place book I found one, entitled "The Outlandish Knight," evidently, from the style, of considerable antiquity, which appears to have escaped the notice of Percy, and other collectors. Since then I have met with a printed one, from the popular press of Mr. Pitts, the six-yards for-a-penny song-publisher, who informs me that he has printed it "ever since he was a printer, and that Mr. Marshall, his predecessor, printed it before him." The ballad has not improved by circulating amongst Mr. Pitts's friends; for the heroine, who has no name given her in my friend's copy, is in Mr. Pitts's called "Polly;" and there are expressions contra bonos more. These I have expunged; and, to render the ballad more complete, added a few stanzas, wherein I have endeavoured to preserve.

Outlandish Knight- "Six go true, The seventh askew."

An outlandish knight from the north lands came,
And he came a wooing to me;
He told me he'd take me unto the north lands,
And I should his fair bride be.

A broad, broad shield did this strange knight wield.
Whereon did the red-cross shine,
Yet never, I ween, had that strange knight been
In the fields of Palestine.

And out and spake this strange knight,
This knight of the north countrie,
O, maiden fair, with the raven hair,
Thou shalt at my bidding be.

Thy sire he is from home, ladye,
For he hath a journey gone,
And his shaggy blood-hound is sleeping sound,
Beside the postern stone.

Go, bring me some of thy fatber's gold,
And some of thy mother's fee,
And steeds twain of the best, in the stalls that rest;
Where they stand thirty and three.

She mounted her on her milk-white steed.
And he on a dapple grey,
And they forward did ride, till they reacb'd the sea-side,
Three hours before it was day.

Then out and spake this strange knight,
This knight of the north countrie,
O, maiden fair, with the raven hair,
Do thou at my bidding be.

Alight thee, maid, from thy milk-white steed.
And deliver it unto me;
Six maids have I drown'd, where the billows sound,
And the seventh one thou shalt be.

But first pull off thy kirtle fine,
And deliver it unto me;
Thy kirtle of green is too rich, I ween,
To rot in the salt, salt sea,

Pull off, pull off thy silken shoon,
And deliver them unto me;
Methinks that they are too fine and gay
To rot in the salt, salt sea.

Pull off, pull off thy bonnie green plaid.
That floats in the breeze so free;
It is woven fine with the silver twine,
And comely it is to see.

If I must pull off my bonnie' green plaid,
O turn thy back to me;
And gaze on the sun which has just begun
To peer o'er the salt, salt sea.

He turn'd his back on the damoselle
And gaz'd on the bright sunbeam-
She grasp'd him tight with her arms so white,
And plung'd him into the stream.

Lie there, sir knight, thou false-hearted wight,
Lie there instead of me;
Six damsels fair thou hast drown'd there,
But the seventh has drowned thee.

That ocean wave was the false one's grave,
For he sunk right hastily;
Though with dying voice faint, he pray'd to his saint,
And utter'd an Ave Marie.

No mass was said for that false knight dead,
No convent bell did toll;
But he went to his rest, unshriv'd and unblest-
Heaven's mercy on his soul!

She mounted her on her dapple-grey steed,
And led the steed milk-white;
She rode till she reach'd her father's hall,
Three hours before the night.

The parrot, hung in the lattice so high,
To the lady then did say,
Some ruffian, I fear, has led thee from home,
For thou hast been long away.

Do not prattle, my pretty bird,
Do not tell tales of me;
And thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold,
Instead of the greenwood tree.

The earl as he sat in his turret high,
On hearing the parrot did say,
What ails thee, what ails thee, my pretty bird?
Thou hast prattled the live-long day.

Well may I prattle, the parrot replied,
And call, brave earl, on thee;
For the cat has well nigh reach'd the lattice so high,
And her eyes are fix'd on me.

Well turn'd, well turn'd, my pretty bird,
Well turn'd, well turn'd for me;
Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold,
Instead of the greenwood tree.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 01:26 PM

Yes, the rewritten ballad is almost worthless but the information that it was printed by the Dicey-Marshall dynasty is priceless. That now makes it very likely that the TOK is the original in English and the Scottish version Child D is based upon it rather than the other way round. The other Child versions are either based on D or are concoctions of their editors. So far the earlier version hasn't come to light but it may well still do so.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 08:45 AM

Hi,

The Ballad of Lady Isabel and the False Knight by Finnish author Iivar Kemppinen was published in 1954. He studied 1865 variants of this ballad from all over the world. I've put excerpts on my website here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/ballad-of-lady-isabel--the-false-knight--kemppinen.aspx

It's important to differentiate between the various similar themes found mainly in Europe, Scandinavia and the Americas. This study is confined largely to the English speaking countries. It's impossible to say when and where the English speaking versions originated and comparing the "collective" murder ballads or stories is like comparing apples with oranges- yes, they're both similar fruits which is saying: yes, they're murder ballads with a similar theme.

That each murder of the seducer by the maid is given local settings is only natural since similar murders have occurred throughout the world. Some are adaptations of this similar "abduction of the maid" theme which already existed while others are new versions of the same story.

Here is an outline of the ballad story as given by Kemppinen in 1954:

a: A noble and foreign-looking man (false knight) approaches a young maid (king's daughter), charms her with his music or promises and carries her off in order to kill her.
b: Having discovered his intentions, revealed either by the knight himself or in some other way, the girl, being the cleverer and more shrewd of the two, finds a way to save herself and
c: kills the knight,
d: The final scene tells of what the maid does when the murder is accomplished and how her world reacts to the deed. Subordinate characters are the father and mother or brother and sister of the king's daughter or the knight, or sometimes all of these.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 04:37 PM

'comparing apples with oranges'. Not sure I agree with this analogy, Richie. Having recently read through all of Child's synopses, it's possible to see evolution and progressions from one country/language to another and to show how they are related. I do admit that in the cases of some Child Ballads the connections can be quite tentuous and debatable but with number 4, at least with most of the versions Child looks at, the connections are real. If one tries to compare a Portuguese version with say a Norwegian version the connections might seem very tenuous but having an overview as in Child's headnotes one can trace development and links.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 11:49 PM

Hi Steve,

If all the variants by Child and Kemmpinen are types of fruit (i.e. maid outwits false knight and kills him) then most of the analogues are different like apples are different than oranges. I think I'll look more carefully at the analogues.

The English speaking versions in general have

A: The false knight proposes to the maid or seduces the maid through a magic charm.
B: He entices her to bring her father's gold and her mother's jewels (fee) and two steeds.
C: They ride to the seashore where the knight has already drowned six maids; the knight tells the maid to take off her clothes, since they are too "costily" to rot in the salty sea.
D: The maid asks him to turn his back for "it is not fitting that a naked woman he should see.
E: She throws him in the water and refuses to rescue him.
F: When she returns home, the parrot asks her where she's been; sometimes the father is woken. She promises the bird a golden and ivory cage or other rewards and parrot keeps the murder a secret.

Even if you take off the ending with the parrot-- the false knight and maid ride horses to water where they stop and he reveals he's killed six (or seven) king's daughters. Before she takes off her expensive clothes she tricks him to turn his head so he won't see her naked. She throws him in the water and he drowns.

I don't think there are analogues with these distinct characteristics. Child 4A is quite different and part of Child 4B. I'll look again at the analogues.

This Irish oral dialogue version from Connamara appeared in "Once a Week," Volume 11, edited by Eneas Sweetland Dallas, 1864 and has the naked woman scene which needs to be part of the analogue-- but it's missing other parts:

"We had another like him, sir, but he was a murthering villain."

"Who was he?"

"Captain Webb."

"What did he do?"

"He used to ill-use young women, and then strip thorn and throw them into the 'Murthuring Hole,' which is not far from here."

"Come, now, Master Joyce, you must not be asking me to believe too much, or you may weaken my faith in Mao Namara and his famous mare."

"The devil a lie in what I'm going to tell you, sir."

"Well, goon."

"Well, sir, this Captain Webb one day met a fine handsome girl, beautifully dressed, with a bran new cloak and gown. It was near the mouth of the Murthering Hole that he met her. He first sthruve to get his will of her, but he couldn't, for she was a very decent girl; so he tares off her cloak and drags her to the mouth of the Hole, and says, 'Strip.'

"Goon."

"Well, sir, she takes off her new gown, and her flannel petticoat, saving your presence, and then she falls down on her knees and says to him, 'Oh, for the Vargin's sake, turn your head aside while I take off the rest of my things."

"Well?"

"Well, sir, he turned his back to her and his face to the Murthering Hole, when she sprung up and made a dhrive at him, and pushed him in."

"And killed him?"

"Of coorse."

"Bravo!"

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 18 - 09:09 AM

The changing of the scene/method of the killing is to be expected in such a widespread ballad. In some of the more central/possibly earlier international versions the Knight gives the girl the option of being killed by his sword, hung or drowned, so the suggestion of drowning was already implanted. If I remember correctly it's the French and Polish versions that move towards the drowning method, and therefore most likely the source of the English ballad.

Whatever, it is the girl's reversal that is the crux of the story. The method is not as important (IMO).

What Child's (Grundtvig's) synopsis of the continental versions doesn't tell us is whether as the ballad moved from language to language did the basic story just pass on or were there direct translations of ballad to ballad. The probable answer is both. I look forward to seeing if Kemppinen throws any light on this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 18 - 09:12 AM

BTW, I like the Irish version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Apr 18 - 01:26 PM

Feature D, the maid asks him to turn his back for "it is not fitting that a naked woman he should see", does indeed come in many of the English language versions, and yet it seems the least plausible of the methods by which the girl could overcome the villain. But then seducing and murdering one king's daughter after another seems an overly complicated way of acquiring riches. I find it easier to suspend disbelief for some of the ballads involving magic than for this one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 18 - 02:32 PM

Hi, Richard.
Belief and plausibility are not requirements of balladry.

The naked woman motif is present in some of the continental versions, the French for instance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 06 Apr 18 - 05:04 PM

> Belief and plausibility are not requirements of balladry.

Indeed not, but surely suspension of disbelief is a requirement, for ballads as for most kinds of fictional story apart from tall tales where the implausibility is the point.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Apr 18 - 06:32 PM

Considering the overall plot we are very likely looking at a late medieval one here. In such times murder to acquire riches would have been quite plausible, and the various tricks used to distract the knight and reverse the situation are the main point of the piece of fiction. They vary in plausibility and ingenuity. There is no more suspension of disbelief needed here than with a hundred other ballads, to my mind anyway. The talking parrot helps set the tone but that's only in English versions. Other talking birds do come in at various points in continental versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 07 Apr 18 - 06:00 AM

> They vary in plausibility and ingenuity.

There I agree.

> There is no more suspension of disbelief needed here than with a hundred other ballads, to my mind anyway.

That's where I disagree. The girl certainly needs to pull a cunning trick of some sort, unless someone else is coming to the rescue as in some of the continental variants. But what villain would fall for "turn your back so you don't see me naked", when he would see her anyway when he pushes her into the water? Or "Go and find a sickle to cut those nettles". Does he really believe that she will refuse to walk through some stinging nettles but submit to being drowned?


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Apr 18 - 05:35 PM

I completely see your point, but similar points could be made with a whole host of ballads. Time scales don't match etc. These pieces were primarily written as entertainment. Like our modern day soaps, a lot of what goes on we wouldn't expect to happen in real life. They seem to lurch from one life-threatening situation to another.

The Cruel Mother kills her babies and on her way home she sees their ghosts, no longer babies, playing ball, and they accuse her.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 07 Apr 18 - 06:04 PM

Steve, I accept those points!

Perhaps we should get back to discussions specific to the Carpenter stuff (now that Mudcat is accessible again. As far as I can see, no-one managed to post anything for nearly eleven hours today.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Apr 18 - 09:14 AM

Yes,
I tried quite a few times. It seems to go down regularly on a weekend. Maintenance one presumes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 11 Apr 18 - 11:26 AM

Hi,

The letter (below) in 1851 Notes and Queries refers to an arrangement by F. Sheldon in which Sheldon's version was chastised by Blackwood as being a poor recreation of the Scottish "May Collean." EMUN points out that Outlandish Knight is the original of "May Collean."

"Notes and Queries: A Medium of Inter-Communication for Literary ...," Volume 3, 1851:

Ballad Editing — The “Outlandish Knight" (Vol. iii., p. 49.).—I was exceedingly glad to see Mr. F. Sheldon's “valuable contribution to our stock of ballad literature” in the hands of Mr. Rimbault, and thought the treatment it received no better than it deserved. Blackwood, May, 1847, reviewed Mr. Sheldon's book, and pointed out several instances of his “godfathership:” among others, his ballad of the “Outlandish Knight,” which he obtained from “a copy in the possession of a gentleman at Newcastle,” was condemned by the reviewer as “a vamped version of the Scotch ballad of ‘May Collean.'" It may be as the reviewer states, but the question I would wish answered is one affecting the reviewer himself; for, if I mistake not, the Southron “Outlandish Knight” is the original of “May Collean” itself. I have by me a copy, in black letter, of the “Outlandish Knight,” English in every respect, and as such differing considerably from Mr. Sheldon's border edition, and from “May Collean;" and, with some slight alterations, the ballad I have is yet popularly known through the midland counties. If any of your correspondents can oblige me with a reference to the first appearance of “May Collean,” sheet or book, I shall esteem it a favour.
EMUN.

Birmingham.

* * * *

As pointed out by Barry and others the Scottish names similar to "May Collean" may be a derivative of "my colleen" or "my callin" both of which are slang for "my girl."

Child G, the Irish "The Knight and the Chief's Daughter" has "my colleen" and introduces "willow tree" found in later traditional versions in the US.

Both of the early English prints (False Knight Outwitted/Outlandish Knight) name the maid, "Pretty Polly" although some reprints have pretty maid(en)."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 11 Apr 18 - 11:44 AM

Hi,

One point, which goes back to the posts by Steve and Richard Mellish, regards the plausibility of Child 4:

The maid pushes the Knight in the water and he drowns.

Maybe if he was wearing a full suit of armor it might make sense, but pushing a "false" knight who presumably has supernatural powers into the water (sometimes just a stream) seems an unlikely form of demise. There's nothing in the ballad text about the knight being weighed down or not being able to swim-- he just drowns!!!

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Apr 18 - 03:29 PM

There is no suggestion in English forms that the Knight has supernatural powers. I'd need to check but I'm not even sure that many, if any, of the continental versions do. This seems to be a later addition as with other cases of the Scottish redaction adding in the supernatural elements.

Have we identified 'EMUN'? This astounding revelation 'I have by me a copy, in black letter, of the OK.' If that can be verified that would just about settle the case. Having said that the likelihood of a black-letter version being around then and no recollection of it surviving makes me suspicious. The earliest we have is 1780, yes?

Once again, ballads, like their close relatives folk tales, do not need to be plausible. Describers of ballad style often refer to their cartoon-like qualities.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 11 Apr 18 - 11:07 PM

Hi Steve,

I assume (but you known this better than I) that black-letter broadsides are dated before about 1720. Is that an accurate date? We know that earlier broadsides of Outlandish Knight (English) were printed-- they just haven't survived. How do we know EMUN did not have an earlier version? As far as False Knight Outwitted the British Library still has 1710? with a proven date of 1780. I have the ballad dated late 1600s and early 1700s without proof. There is a response in Notes and Queries challenging EMUN's claim (I think in 1868) that OK is the earliest predating the Scottish versions. EMUN's conclusion was also our conclusion.

I have felt that the fause knight exerted some power of her to cause her to go away with him besides the charm.

"I had no power for to speak one word,
No tongue to answer nay, nay, nay
No tongue to answer nay."

Still I agree that the False knight is not the devil and this change was added later to make him seem more ominous.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 12 Apr 18 - 08:32 AM

Hi,

The 1868 Notes and Queries question is not to Emun's post but to Hone's 1927 version which dates Outlandish Knight back to John Marshall to the 1700s via a conversion with John Pitts who said it was one of his earliest prints (c. 1802):

What I want to know is this: Can any contributor to “N. & Q.” prove that “The Outlandish Knight” is not a modern antique? I fancy I have seen in Blackwood [May 1847] a ballad so called, but may be mistaken. Certainly there is a very suspicious resemblance in style between the alleged old ballad and its modern sequel, and I should like to know on what evidence the alleged antiquity rests. I appeal particularly to MR. WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Mr. JAMES HENRY Dixon, and DR. RIMBAULT.
- R. W. DIXON. Seaton-Carew co. Durham

As far as I know no response to Dixon query was made. However in 1880 Child himself was trying to track down the black-letter mentioned by Emun:


Ballad Of "May Culzean; Or, False Sir John."—I want very much an exact copy of the black-letter broadside which was in the possession of your Birmingham correspondent Emun when he wrote to "N. & Q.," 1" S. iii. 208; also of the printed stall ballad, of about 1749, entitled The Western Tragedy, which is mentioned by Motherwell at p. lxx of the Introduction to his Minstrelsy; and I should be glad to have the later stall print called The Historical Ballad of May Culzean, referred to by Motherwell at the same place. To prevent misunderstanding, I will say that I have the Roxburghe copy, and all that are printed in collections. F. J. Child.

Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.

* * * *

There is a chapbook copy of Western Tragedy dated 1790 held the Library of Scotland and they are willing to sell me a copy which I should get soon. Not sure why they just don't include it in their collection online. I've already posted (earlier in this thread) The Historical Ballad of May Culzean. The Harvard copy of Western Tragedy is hung up by red tape-- I need to talk to the right people at the library.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 12 Apr 18 - 09:05 AM

Hi,

According to Barry (British Ballads from Maine, 1929): "The ballad seems to be an early arrival in America, as evidenced from its wide dispersion from purely English sources."

Two early versions of Child F (False Knight Outwitted) with the "nettles" stanza are given by Barry from Mass. and Maine which makes me wonder if the 1710? date is accurate.

The "pretty Polly" versions are all English source versions derived ultimately from the two broadsides and their unknown antecedents-- such as the supposed black-letter possessed by EMUN in 1851.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Apr 18 - 02:56 PM

Richie 11 Apr 18 - 11:26 AM
> Child G, the Irish "The Knight and the Chief's Daughter" has "my colleen" and introduces "willow tree" found in later traditional versions in the US.

What am I missing? Where is Child 4G to be found?


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 12 Apr 18 - 04:14 PM

Hi,

The following is a quote from J. H. Dixon in Notes and Queries, April 11, 1868, p. 344. In this post he says he was the author of the 1827 Hone version, which is heavily reworked- Dixon also at a young age became as a friend of John Pitts the printer who said the broadside dates back to John Marshall, Pitts' mentor (at least late 1700s). Dixon, without offering proof, also claims to have seen "Black-letter copies" of Outlandish Knight.

"THE OUTLANDISH KNIGHT." (4th S. I. 221.)

The article in Hone, quoted by your correspondent, was a juvenile contribution by myself. He might have known this from a note to "Wearies' Well" (Scottish Traditional Versions, Percy Society's publications). He will also find, from a note inserted at p. 64 (Ballads of the Peasantry, &c, second edition), that an old copy of the original bullad is preserved in the Roxburgh collection (Museum Library). I have also seen black-letter copies. The ballad is very old, and perfectly genuine; to suppose it a "modern antique," is an absurdity. As I am about to publish at Bristol a work to be entitled The Redclyjfe Book of Ballads, I shall say little more on this subject. Let it suffice for the present to remark that I have a Swiss-German ballad, "Das Giiggibader Lied," and an Italian ballad, " La bela Monfrejna," on a similar theme. Both ballads are very old, and written in patois—the first-named in the patois of Argovie, the second in that of Piemont. Full particulars will be given in the Redclyffe Book of Ballads. When I sent the ottered ballad to Hone, the remarks quoted were perfectly true, and so they are now. The gentleman from whom I obtained my copy of the original was a Mr. Richardson, of Berwick, a stock-broker, who died in London many years ago—I think at his residence near Deptford in Kent.

My visit to Mr. Pitt's led to an intimacy between us. He was at that time quite blind. I was somewhat surprised to find in the ballad printer of Seven Dials a gentlemanly well-educated man, with a wonderful stock of information on ballad and chap-book literature.


J. H. Dixon.

Florence.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 12 Apr 18 - 04:23 PM

Hi Steve,

When were black-letter broadsides last printed? Isn't 1720 the latest? If there were a black letter of Outlandish Knight without imprint what would be a reasonable range of dates or is that impossible to tell without examination?

Richard-- This is what I have for 4G:

'The Knight and the Chief's Daughter'- Child 4G; British Museum, Manuscript Addit. 20094, communicated to Mr. T. Crofton Croker in 1829, as remembered by Mr. W. Pigott Rogers, and believed by Mr. Rogers to have been learned by him from an Irish nursery-maid. No date given when Rogers first learned this but estimated to be from late 1700s.

1    'Now steal me some of your father's gold,
And some of your mother's fee,
And steal the best steed in your father's stable,
Where there lie thirty three.'

2    She stole him some of her father's gold,
And some of her mother's fee,
And she stole the best steed from her father's stable,
Where there lay thirty three.

3    And she rode on the milk-white steed,
And he on the barb so grey,
Until they came to the green, green wood,
Three hours before it was day.

4    'Alight, alight, my pretty colleen,
Alight immediately,
For six knight's daughters I drowned here,
And thou the seventh shall be.'

5    'Oh hold your tongue, you false knight villain,
Oh hold your tongue,' said she;
'Twas you that promised to marry me,
For some of my father's fee.'

6    'Strip off, strip off your jewels so rare,
And give them all to me;
I think them too rich and too costly by far
To rot in the sand with thee.'

7    'Oh turn away, thou false knight villain,
Oh turn away from me;
Oh turn away, with your back to the cliff,
And your face to the willow-tree.'

8    He turned about, with his back to the cliff,
And his face to the willow-tree;
So sudden she took him up in her arms,
And threw him into the sea.

9    'Lie there, lie there, thou false knight villain,
Lie there instead of me;
'T was you that promised to marry me,
For some of my father's fee.'

10    'Oh take me by the arm, my dear,
And hold me by the hand,
And you shall be my gay lady,
And the queen of all Scotland.'

11    'I'll not take you by the arm, my dear,
Nor hold you by the hand;
And I won't be your gay lady,
And the queen of all Scotland.'

12    And she rode on the milk-white steed,
And led the barb so grey,
Until she came back to her father's castle,
One hour before it was day.

13    And out then spoke her parrot so green,
From the cage wherein she lay:
Where have you now been, my pretty colleen,
This long, long summer's day?

14    'Oh hold your tongue, my favourite bird,
And tell no tales on me;
Your cage I will make of the beaten gold,
And hang in the willow-tree.'

15    Out then spoke her father dear,
From the chamber where he lay:
Oh what hath befallen my favourite bird,
That she calls so loud for day?

16    'Tis nothing at all, good lord,' she said,
'Tis nothing at all indeed;
It was only the cat came to my cage-door,
And I called my pretty colleen.'

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Apr 18 - 01:39 AM

Richie,
> Richard-- This is what I have for 4G:

Thank you. NOW I have found it in volume II. I had made the mistake of looking at the "Outlandish knight" entries in the index, which only give volumes I and V, instead of "Lady Isabel and the Elf-knight".


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Apr 18 - 04:05 PM

Hi
There are lots of difficulties with much of the recently posted conjecture. Without the evidence before us our hands are largely tied. I still find it difficult to believe that two people claim to have seen a black letter copy, one of them such an antiquarian as Dixon, and no copy has apparently survived. Apart from which someone like Dixon would surely have published it or passed it on to the likes of Furnivall, Chappell or Ebsworth to publish.

Richard Marshall would have been later 18thc and a printing by him would be very plausible.

It is quite difficult to say with any accuracy when black letter finally died out. The normal general date is 1700 but some printers would have gone on after this. 1720 looks like a reasonable guess to me. Some of the later 18thc printers right up to 1800 and beyond used the odd blackletter on the title pages of chapbooks, songsters and garlands, but not for the small print. Whereas a useful number of 1680s 90s broadsides were dated very few ballads were dated after 1700.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Apr 18 - 04:08 PM

You mention Barry's 2 versions from Mass. & Maine as being 'early'. How early? We need to remember that oral tradition can work very quickly even across oceans. It would be nothing for an English 1780 version to be disseminated in New England by the early 19thc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 01:53 PM

Hi Richard,

The several mysterious US texts which have appeared since c. 1950 with the "Willow Tree" title (see 4G above which also has "willow tree") seem to be of recent manufacture and have not been documented earlier. One curiously is from a Polish immigrant from NY, which may be the original. Peggy Seeger also recorded a version.

The Willow Tree (American Version) as posted on John Renfro Davis' site: The Contemplator

There was a youth, a cruel youth,
Who lived beside the sea,
Six little maidens he drowned there
By the lonely willow tree.

As he walked o'er with Sally Brown,
As he walked o'er with she,
And evil thought came to him there,
By the lonely willow tree.

O turn you back to the water's side,
And face the willow tree,
Six little maidens I've drowned here,
And you the seventh shall be.

Take off, take off, your golden crown,
Take off your gown, cried he.
For though I am going to murder you
I would not spoil your finery.

Oh, turn around, you false young man,
Oh turn around, cried she,
For 'tis not meet that such a youth
A naked woman should you see.

He turned around, that false young man,
And faced the willow tree,
And seizing him boldly in both her arms,
She threw him into the sea.

Lie there, lie there, you false young man,
Lie there, lie there, cried she,
Six little maidens you've drowned here,
Now keep them company!

He sank beneath the icy waves,
He sank down into the sea,
And no living thing wept a tear for him,
Save the lonely willow tree.

* * * *

Hi Steve,

TY for the black-letter dates. You're right of course about the black-letter reports being unreliable. Dixon didn't say he had a copy only that he'd "seen black-letter copies" - plural. The other informant, EMUN, said he had a copy.

Barry's versions can't be identified as from the 1700s, one goes back he says, "three generations" which is probably early 1800s. Barry has exaggerated early dates so I'm assume he meant the date as an "early arrival" with the early settlers to be late 1600s, early 1700s.

The British Library date of "1710?" was assigned in the late 1800s and Child added that date in his additions and corrections. Usually the guestimated date wouldn't be 70 years off. Still, the "1710?" date may not be an accurate date-- leaving us with confirmed late 1700s dates and the possibility of a missing black-letter version of Outlandish Knight,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 05:35 PM

Hi,

Single stanza with music from James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/11/233, Disc Side 227, 04:21; AFC 1972/001, MS p. 08479. Notes: William Butler was aged 75 at the time Carpenter collected from him. (p.09773)

The Outlandish Knight- sung by William Butler of 2 New Road, Bampton (p.09773.) near Bampton in the Bush, c. 1930.

No prittle nor prattle, my pretty Polly
Nor tell no tales of me;
And thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold,
And thy door of the best ivory.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 06:22 PM

Hi,

From James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/5/1/N, pp. 08474-08475
Reference Code        AFC 1972/001, MS pp. 04929- 04931. Standard version missing one stanza, the "prattle" stanza.

Outlandish Knight- sung William Hands of Willersley, Glouchester, England. Collected by Carpenter about 1930

1. An outlandish knight came from the northlands
An' he came a-wooing to me;
He told me he'd take me unto the northlands,
An' there he would marry me.

2   "Go fetch me some of your father's gold,
An' some of your mother's fee,
An' two of the best nags out of the stable,
Where there stands thirty an' three."

3    She fetched him some of her father's gold,
An' some of her mother's fee,
An' two of the best nags out of the stable,
Where there stood thirty an' three.

4    She mounted her on her milk-white steed,
An' he on the dapple grey;
They rode till they came unto the seaside,
Three hours before it was day.

5    "Mount off, mount off thy milk-white steed,
An' deliver it unto me;
For six pretty maidens have I drowned here,
An' thou the seventh one thou shalt be.

6   "Pull off, pull off thy silken gown,
An' deliver it unto me;
Methinks that's too rich an' costly
To rot all in the salt sea.

7    'Pull off, pull off thy Holland smock,
An' deliver them unto me;
For I think it they are too rich an' costly
To rot all in the salt sea.

8   "If I must pull off my Holland smock,
Pray turn your back unto me;
For it's not fitting that such a ruffian
A naked woman should see."

9    He turned his back right unto her
An' gazed at the leaves so green;
She caught him round the middle so small,
An' plunged him into the stream.

10    He grooped high and he grooped low,
Until he came to the side;
"Catch hold of my hand, my pretty Polly,
An' I'll make you my bride.'

11   "Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted knight,
Lie there instead o' me;
For six pretty maidens have you drowned here,
But the seventh hath drowned thee.'

12    She mounted on her milk-white steed,
An' led the dapple grey;
She rode till she came to her own father's hall,
Three hours before it was day.

13    The parrot being up in the window so high,
An' hearing his lady, did say,
"I fear that some ruffian hath led you astray,
That you have tarry so long before day."

14 Her father being up in the chamber so high,
An' hearing the parrot did say,
"What ails you, what ails you, my pretty parrot,
That you prattle so long before day?"

15 "It's no laughing matter," the parrot did say,
"So loudly I cry unto thee,
The cat has gotten up in the window so high,
An' I was afraid he would have me."

16    'Well answered, well answered, my pretty parrot,
Well answered back for me;
Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold,
An' the door of the best ivory."


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2
From: Richie
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 12:05 AM

Hi,

This US version, titled the generic titles Fause Sir John (Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight) uses the Lord Lovel form.

My title is the first line, replacing the generic titles. From the James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/7/1/C, pp. 10639-10642. The stanzas are not in the correct order and the action is confusing.

O what's the matter, my pretty Polly- sung by Mrs Becky F. Jones of Route 1, box 122 of Cary, NC, c. 1939

"O what's the matter, my pretty Polly,
That you sing so loud before it's day?"
You've come riding your father's best grey nag,
And a-leading of the tabby grey, grey, grey,
And a-leading of the tabby grey.

CHORUS: "O hush, hush pretty parrot bird,
Pray don't tell no tales on me,
For your cage shall be lined with the brightest leaves of gold,
Swing on the green willow tree, tree,
And swing on the green willow tree."

"O what's the matter, my pretty Polly,
That you sing so loud before it's day?
There comes a cat all to my window,
Caused Polly for to drive him away, away,
Caused Polly for to drive him away."

CHORUS

"O hold your hands, my pretty Polly,
O hold your hands to me,
For my body will be drowned in the cold water deep
And sink to the bottom of the sea, sea,
And sink to the bottom of the sea."

"Lie there, lie there you false lying villyan!
Lie there in the room of me,
For here you have drowned six kings daughters,
And you are the seven one shall be, be,
And you are the seven one shall be."

CHORUS

So she mounted her father's best grey nag,
Leading of the tabby grey,
She rode to her father's stable door,
Three long hours before it was day, day,
Three long hours before it was day.

"O what is the matter, my pretty Polly,
That you ride so long before it is day?
You come riding into your father's stable door,
Three long hours before it was day, day,
Three long hours before it was day."

CHORUS

* * * *

Richie


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