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Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3

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Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 4 (114)
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Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads (132) (closed)
James Madison Carpenter shanties (38)
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Help: James Madison Carpenter (6)


Richie 17 Jul 18 - 06:38 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jul 18 - 10:09 AM
Richie 17 Jul 18 - 09:13 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Jul 18 - 11:03 AM
Kevin Werner 16 Jul 18 - 06:34 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Jul 18 - 06:09 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 15 Jul 18 - 05:24 PM
Richie 15 Jul 18 - 04:41 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Jul 18 - 09:13 AM
Richie 14 Jul 18 - 10:11 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jul 18 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 13 Jul 18 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 13 Jul 18 - 03:31 PM
Richie 13 Jul 18 - 03:08 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jul 18 - 03:08 PM
Richie 13 Jul 18 - 02:59 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jul 18 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 13 Jul 18 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 13 Jul 18 - 06:39 AM
Richie 12 Jul 18 - 10:49 PM
Richie 12 Jul 18 - 09:05 PM
SPB-Cooperator 12 Jul 18 - 08:22 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jul 18 - 06:16 PM
Richie 12 Jul 18 - 04:51 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jul 18 - 04:24 PM
Richie 12 Jul 18 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 12 Jul 18 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 12 Jul 18 - 03:39 PM
Brian Peters 12 Jul 18 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 12 Jul 18 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 12 Jul 18 - 02:56 PM
Brian Peters 12 Jul 18 - 02:55 PM
GUEST 12 Jul 18 - 02:26 PM
Richie 12 Jul 18 - 01:39 PM
Richie 12 Jul 18 - 01:08 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jul 18 - 12:45 PM
Brian Peters 12 Jul 18 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 12 Jul 18 - 09:40 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Jul 18 - 06:28 PM
Richie 10 Jul 18 - 08:00 PM
Brian Peters 10 Jul 18 - 05:37 PM
Richard Mellish 10 Jul 18 - 04:49 PM
Richie 10 Jul 18 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 09 Jul 18 - 05:17 PM
Richie 07 Jul 18 - 06:50 PM
Richie 07 Jul 18 - 12:04 AM
Richie 05 Jul 18 - 11:47 PM
Richard Mellish 05 Jul 18 - 05:05 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Jul 18 - 06:36 PM
Richie 04 Jul 18 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jul 18 - 06:38 PM

Hi Steve,

Great. I've already started the next thread. Please email me the appropriate pages. Looks like there are about 20-25 Carpenter versions,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jul 18 - 10:09 AM

Hi Richie
Taking a leaf from the FSE thread I have just started to reread Gerould and pp17-19 have some very good info on Child 12.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jul 18 - 09:13 AM

Hi,

My notes and UK versions are here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/english-and-other-versions--11-the-cruel-brother.aspx

Another thread will be started shortly for Child 12: Lord Randal,

Please post comments here,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 11:03 AM

Absolutely!


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Kevin Werner
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 06:34 AM

I was thinking about Child 11D.
As far as I know in none of the other Child 11 Cruel Brother versions does a knight offer golden rings or any such gift to a woman.

The stanza,

He courted the eldest with golden rings,
And the others with many fine things.

really belongs to Child 10 The Twa Sisters.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 06:09 PM

Yes it seems the street lit printers in Scotland were using the published collections to fill up their chapbooks, thus recirculating particular versions. Here we have examples of Herd and Jamieson being used and I'm pretty certain Scott's Minstrelsy was treated in the same way. Of course some of the upmarket printers also raided Percy.


FWIW 11D appears to be a hybrid of 10 & 11.
Yes 11K should not really be accepted as a version of 11 by modern standards, a one-off rewrite perhaps.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 05:24 PM

Re. The Lane catalogue entry for Fine Flowers of the Valley. Roud does give the date as 1795.

The full entry from the Lane catalogue is:


839. Fine flowers of the valley. To which
are added, Frennet Hall, and My Nanny O.
1795 sm. 16°. pp.8. Wdct on t.p.
                                                                  33.11
The first piece is in the form of the ballad of the
"Cruel brother" given in Herds " Scottish songs,"
i. 88. Child, No. 11 (i. 148).

"The modern, and extremely vapid, ballad of,
'Frennet Hall' appeared originally (I suppose) in
Herd's 'Scottish songs,' 1776, i. 142." Child, iv.
39. The old ballad, "The fire of Frendraught,"
(Child, No. 196) tells the same story in greater
detail.




Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 04:41 PM

Hi,

Child 11D is a fragment, but seems rather to be a version of Child 10 and I've listed it there. The refrain, however, matches neither Child 10 nor 11. D is taken second hand in America from a lady who was a native of County Kerry, Ireland.

1 There were three ladies playing at ball,
Farin-dan-dan and farin-dan-dee
There came a white knight, and he wooed them all.
With adieu, sweet honey, wherever you be

2 He courted the eldest with golden rings,
Farin-dan-dan and farin-dan-dee
And the others with many fine things.
And adieu, sweet honey, wherever you be

Child 11K was taken from Notes and Queries (1869) as "sung in Cheshire amongst the people in the last century" but hardly qualifies as a version. After a similar "three ladies playing at ball" opening stanza, three knights propose to the ladies who reject them-- there is no wedding and therefore no murder.

1 There were three ladies playing at ball,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
There came three knights and looked over the wall.
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

2    The first young knight, he was clothed in red,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
And he said, 'Gentle lady, with me will you wed?'
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

3    The second young knight, he was clothed in blue,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
And he said, 'To my love I shall ever be true.'
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

4    The third young knight, he was clothed in green,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
And he said, 'Fairest maiden, will you be my queen?'
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

5    The lady thus spoke to the knight in red,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
'With you, sir knight, I never can wed.'
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

6    The lady then spoke to the knight in blue,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
And she said, 'Little faith I can have in you.'
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

7    The lady then spoke to the knight in green,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
And she said, 'Tis at court you must seek for a queen.'
      Sing O the red rose and the white lilly

8    The three young knights then rode away,
      Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary
And the ladies they laughed, and went back to their play.
      Singing O the red rose and the white lilly

Comments? Since this thread is getting long a new thread will be started in a few days and begin with the Carpenter versions of Child 12. Thanks for the comments and posts everyone,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 09:13 AM

I'm inclined to agree with you, Richie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 10:11 PM

Hi,

Ty Steve for a different take on the two "John was asked" ballads. It seems to me just as likely that the "he was asked" stanzas are simply corrupt and forgot that the bridegroom forgot. Certainly the John Clare version seems like a corruption ("lover" for brother") since it doesn't repeat "lover John" the second time,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 05:49 PM

Ancient curses are often not only directed to the receiver of the curse, but to his family and estate as well. An alternative meaning in this version could be that since John was asked and his wife wasn't, that his wife was insulted and directed her husband to take revenge for her. Though I think in the earliest versions he forgets to ask her brother.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 03:38 PM

A small correction:
Her name is actually Ballinger, not Ballenger, as stated in the Flanders book and in Bronson and the date is October 23rd, according to the sound recording.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 03:31 PM

Richie,
Mrs. Dorothy Fuller Irving's Dorset text is near identical to the one recorded by Helen Hartness Flanders & Marguerite Olney from Edith Ballinger Price, of Rhode Island, who learned it from an old lady of Massachusetts c.1914:
https://soundcloud.com/user-860765554/edith-ballinger-price-three-ladies-played-

"Three Ladies Played at Ball" - Sung by Edith Ballenger Price, Newport, Rhode Island, 10-25-1945.

Three ladies played at cup and ball,
With a hey and a lady gay!
Three knights there came among them all,
The rose that[1*] smells so sweetly!

And one of them was dressed in red,
He asked me with him to wed.

And one of them was dressed in yellow,
He asked me to be his fellow.

And one of them was dressed in green,
He asked me to be his queen.

"Oh, you must ask my father the king
And you must ask my mother the queen."

"And you must ask my sister Anne
And you must ask my brother John."

[two verses are missing here.

Curiously the recording actually contains these verses which are missing from the transcription:

"Oh, I have asked your father the king
And I have asked your mother the queen.

"And I have asked your sister Anne
And I have asked your brother John."]

Her father the king led her down the hall,
Her mother the queen led her down the stairs.

Her sister Anne led her down the path,
Her brother John sat her on her horse.

And as she bent to give him a kiss
He stuck a[2*] penknife into her breast.

"Now, up and ride, my foremost man!
My lady fair looks pale and wan!"

"Oh, what will you leave to your father the king?"
"The golden chair that I sit in!"

"And what will you leave to your mother the queen?"
"The golden coach that I ride in!"

"And what will you leave to your sister Anne?"
"My silver brooch and ivory fan!"

"And what will you leave to your brother John?"
"A pair of gallows to hang him on!"

[1*] Miss Price sings "it" on the recording.
[2*] Miss Price sings "his" on the recording.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 03:08 PM

Hi,

Here's a version from Dorset that was collected in Boston. What I'm curious about are Barry's cryptic notes. This version was first published by Phillips Barry in his 1908 book, Folk Songs of the North Atlantic States. Also in The Ballad of the Cruel Brother by Phillips Barry; The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 28, No. 109 (Jul. - Sep., 1915), pp. 300-301. What Barry doesn't say, and it's misleading, is, that the text was from E. S. Porter's MS which was borrowed from Mrs. Dorothy Fuller Irving of Sturminster, Dorset. The melody was noted from Rosalind Fuller of Dorset, in Boston, MA.

Barry: The texts hitherto known--excluding, of course, those obviously defective--agree, in that the bride is killed by her brother because his consent to the wedding has not been sought. In the present version the situation is unique, the brother acting as the agent of his wife's ill will. A motive for the curse in the final stanza is thus clear.

1. 'Three Ladies played at cup and ball, -
(With a hey! and my lily gay!)
Three Knights there came among them all.
(The rose it smells so sweetly!)

2. And one of them was dressed in green, -
He asked me to be his queen.

3. And one of them was dressed in yellow, -
He asked me to be his fellow.

4. And one of them was dressed in red,-
He asked me with him to wed.

5. "But you must ask my father the King,
And you must ask my mother the Queen, -

6. "And you must ask my sister Anne,
And you must ask my brother John."

7. "Oh, I have asked your father the King,
And I have asked your mother the Queen, -

8. "And I have asked your sister Anne,
And I have asked your brother John."

9. Her father led her down the stairs,
Her mother led her down the hall.

10. Her sister Anne led her down the walk,
Her brother John put her on her horse.

11. And as she stooped to give him a kiss,
He stuck a penknife into her breast.

12. "Ride up, ride up, my foremost man!
Methinks my lady looks pale and wan!"

13. "Oh what will you leave to your father the King?"
"The golden coach that I ride in."

14. "And what will you leave to your mother the Queen?"
"The golden chair that I sat in."

15. "And what will you leave to your sister Anne?"
"My silver brooch and golden fan."

16. "And what will you leave to your brother John?"
"A pair of gallows to hang him on."

17. "And what will you leave to your brother John's wife?"
"Grief and misfortune all her life."

* * * *

It seems that Barry is implying that stanza 17 reveals the animosity directed not only to Brother John but also his wife and in some versions this children. Why would she harbor hatred for his family on her deathbed? Suggestions on what Barry means?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 03:08 PM

Of all the incongruities between ballad text and refrain this one must take the prize! It's almost the level of burlesque. I can visualise Sam Cowell performing this, or Joe Grimaldi.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 02:59 PM

Hi,

Here's the chapbook text from National Library of Scotland:

Tragical ballad of Lord John's murder,
Together with The cruel brother. Glasgow:
Printed for the booksellers, [1840-1850?].

THE CRUEL BROTHER.

There was three ladies play’d at the ba'
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
There came a knight, and play’d o’er them a’,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

The eldest was baith tall and fair,
W ith a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
But the youngest was beyond compare,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

The midmost had a gracefu’ mien,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
But the youngest look’d like beauty’s queen.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

The knight bow’d low to a’ the three.
With a heigh-ho ! and a lily gay;
But to the youngest he bent his knee.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

The lady turned her head aside.
With a heigh-ho: and a lily gay;
The knight he woo’d her to be his bride.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

The lady blush’d a rosy red,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And said, “ Sir knight, I’m o’er young to wed,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“O, lady fair, give me your hand,
With a heigh ho! and a lily gay;
And I’ll mak’ you lady of a’ my land,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

"Sir knight, ere you my favour win,
With a heigh ho! and a lily gay;
Ye maun get consent frae a’ my kin’,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

He has got consent frae her parents dear,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And likewise frae her sisters fair,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

He has got consent frae her kin each one,
With a heigh ho! and a lily gay;
But forgot to spear at her brother John,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

Now, when the wedding-day was come,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
The knight would take his bonnie bride home,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

And many a lord and many a knight,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
Came to behold that lady bright,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

And there was nae man that did her see.
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
But wished himself bridegroom to be.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

Her father dear led her down the stair.
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And her sisters twain thev kiss’d her there
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

Her mother dear led her through the close.
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And her brother John set her on the horse.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

She lean’d her o’er the saddle bow,
W ith a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
To give him a kiss ere she did go,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

He has ta’en a knife, baith lang and sharp,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And stabb’d the bonnie bride to the heart
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

She hadna ridden half through the town.
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay.
Until her heart’s blood stained her gown.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

“Ride saftly on,” said the best young man,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
For I think our bonnie bride looks pale and wan,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“0, lead me gently up yon hill,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And I’ll there sit down, and make my will,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

”O, what will you leave to your father dear,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay?”
The silver shod steed that brought me here.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“What will you leave to your mother dear,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay?”
“My velvet pall and silken gear.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“And what will you leave to your sister Ann,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay?”
“My silken scarf and my golden fan.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“What will you leave to your sister Grace,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay?”
“My bloody cloaths to wash and dress.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“What will you leave to your brother John,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay?”
“The gallows-tree to hang him on,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

“What will ye leave to your brother John’s wife,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay?”
“The wilderness to end her life.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.”

This fair lady in her grave was laid,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
And a mass was o’er her said,
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

But it would have made your heart right sair,
With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay;
To see the bridegroom rive his hair.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 01:16 PM

The NLS chapbook version is taken verbatim from Jamieson.

I think George was mixing this up with another similar ballad, perhaps Fair Flower of Northumberland. As far as I know there is no early broadside in English, or in fact any broadside other than that taken from collections like Jamieson/Herd etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 06:42 AM

Oh, I think it is the one I posted above, John Clare's book says seventeenth century, not sixteenth.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 06:39 AM

Was there a broadside print of Child 11, The Cruel Brother during the sixteenth century?
Accordign to the notes in the John Calre book it should exist.

Looking at the Roud Index I found these entries:

Fine Flowers of the Valley
Source
Lane: Catalogue..Chapbooks & Broadsides..Harvard College No.839
Format
Printed : Street literature : Broadside / Chapbook catalogue
Src Contents
Reference only

It's just a reference, there's no text to go by.

And another one:

The Cruel Brother

First Line
There was three ladies play'd at the ba'
Source
Tragical Ballad of Lord John's Murder, The
Format
Printed : Street literature : Chapbook
Printer / Publisher
[For the Booksellers] (Glasgow) No.79


Here's the text for that one:
http://digital.nls.uk/chapbooks-printed-in-scotland/archive/108701622?mode=fulls

Together with The cruel brother. Glasgow : Printed for the booksellers, [1840-1850?].

But the date is too late.
I can't find anything earlier than that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 10:49 PM

Hi,

Baring Gould sent a fragment of "Fine Flowers" to Child (SBG/5 Harvard / Child book: Ballads and Songs Collected by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, chiefly in Devonshire, and sent by him to Prof. F.J. Child (now in Harvard) Feb. 26, 1892). There's some info below, some of which I've taken from the DT. The original letter is here, Sabine Baring-Gould Manuscript Collection (SBG/5/64): https://www.vwml.org/search?q=RN26%20baring-gould&is=1 My transcription follows:

[The flowers that were in the valley]

1. There was a woman and she was a widow
The flowers that bloom in the valley
A daughter she had as the Elan tree,
O the red, the green and the yellow,
The harp, the lute, the fife the flute and the cymbal
Sweet was this treble violin
The flowers that bloom in the valley.

2. There comes a knight all clothed in red,
The flowers that bloom in the valley
O and will you be my bride,
& etc.

3. There comes a second all clothed in green,
The flowers that bloom in the valley,
And he said, Fair maid will you be my queen,
& etc

The first stanza was noted by Frederick William Bussell and Sabine Baring Gould from Mary Gilbert and her brother William, both of the Falcon Inn, about 1880.

William Gilbert's verse appears in Cecil Sharp's MSS, and is also quoted by Bronson (vol.I p.190, 11:9):

There was a widow all forlorn
Nine brave boys of her body were borne [sic]
Flowers that were in the Valley
The harp the lute the fife the flute & the cymbal
Sweet goes the treble violin
Flowers that were in the Valley.

The other stanzas that Baring-Gould sent to Child were quoted in Bronson: Baring Gould, "I have had what is clearly the same melody with the same burden of The Flowers in the Valley and the enumeration of the instruments in connection with the Three Knights". It is described as "Sung by Mr. Old, at the same time as the other variant".

There was a Knight all clothed in red
The flowers that were in the valley
O and wilt thou be my bride? he said
O the red, the green and the yellow.
The harp, the lute, &c.

There came a second all clothed in green
The flowers that were in the valley.
And he said, My Fair, wilt thou be my queen"
O the red, the green and the yellow.
The harp, the lute, &c.

There came a third, in yellow was he
The flowers that were in the valley,
And he said, My bride for sure thoul't be,
O the red, the green and the yellow.
The harp, the lute, &c.

* * * *

Baring Gould published a reworked version in "A Garland of Country Song":

O there was a woman and she was a widow
Fair are the flowers in the valley
With a daughter as fair as a fresh sunny meadow
The Red, the Green and the Yellow
The Harp - The Lute - The Pipe, the Flute, the Cymbal,
Sweet goes the treble violin
The maid so rare, and the flowers so fair
Together they grew in the Valley

There came a Knight all clothed in red
Fair are the flowers in the valley
"I would thou wert my bride", he said,
The Red, the Green and the Yellow
The Harp - The Lute - The Pipe, the Flute, the Cymbal,
Sweet goes the treble violin
"I would", she sighed, "ne'er wins a bride!"
Fair are the flowers in the valley.

There came a Knight all clothed in green
Fair are the flowers in the valley
"This maid so sweet might be my queen",
The Red, the Green and the Yellow
The Harp - The Lute - The Pipe, the Flute, the Cymbal,
Sweet goes the treble violin
"Might be", sighed she, "will ne'er win me!"
Fair are the flowers in the valley.

There came a Knight in yellow was he
Fair are the flowers in the valley
"My bride, my queen, thou must with me!,
The Red, the Green and the Yellow
The Harp - The Lute - The Pipe, the Flute, the Cymbal,
Sweet goes the treble violin
With blushes red, "I come", she said
"Farewell to the flowers in the valley."

Source: A Garland of Country Song, ISBN 1-86143 071 X

Notes: Collected by S Baring-Gould from Mr Gilbert, The Falcon Inn, Mawgan, Pydar, Cornwall, about 1880.

Baring-Gould wrote:

    This exquisite melody along with fragments only of the words were obtained from Mr Gilbert, the Falcon Inn, Mawgan in Pydar, Cornwall, as he recalled having heard it sung by Thomas Williams, a man of ninety, who died in 1881. His words, however, were relative to nine sons of the widow -

    Three of them were seamen so brave,
    Three of them were soldiers so bold,
    Three of them - [rest forgotten]

    Then the last verse was "There was an end of the nine brave boys." We have striven in vain to recover this ballad.

    However, as I have had what is clearly the same melody with the same burden of "The Fowers in the Valley" and the enumeration of the instruments in connection with the "Three Knights, the Red, the Green and the Yellow" we have used these words.


* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 09:05 PM

Hi,

SPB Cooperator, elaborate of Carpenter's thesis please :)

I've just read the posts more carefully and it's clear in Clare's version that the motive for the murder is jealousy and is evidence that in several versions the brother was asked permission yet still stabs his sister. In the notes it says, "Clare’s text provides a useful link between the broadside texts of the seventeenth century and the versions subsequently collected. . ."

What are the broadside texts of the seventeenth century?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 08:22 PM

My interest in Carpenter is more aroun his thesis than his collection due to the maritime focus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 06:16 PM

You should have more confidence in your own findings. Any advice from me and the others here and the DT and even Child is not guaranteed to be right. Once you have gathered together all of the versions you have much more info than Child had and more than the rest of us here. By all means flag up any questionable points on meanings etc.

Regarding a possible incest element one needs to be cautious with this if it only occurs in one interim version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 04:51 PM

Steve,

TY

Yes, that is the motive- permission not obtained from her brother. I was just wondering about the Traditional ballad index info.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 04:24 PM

The Baring Gould versions will be on the EFDSS website. I'll send you the Crawfurd versions later tonight. Surely Child's headnotes cover motives. The permission not obtained is a common motive to ballads is it not?


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Kevin and Brian,

Kevin, you're detailed notes are helpful. The gift of the "beaver cap" shows Maud's version has brought in stanzas from the standard US versions represented by Child Y. My theory is that the Hick/Harmon versions with resuscitation stanzas predate the standard English text and that the latter was derived from this early version but the resuscitation stanzas were dropped or forgotten.

As far as Child 11 it was popular then disappeared in the mid-1800s. Does anyone have Baring-Gould's version? As I remember a version was sent to him and he also had a nursery version he published. The traditional ballad index infers that the cruel brother kills his sister because of jealousy rather than because his permission was not obtained-- and that the evidence is found in the dying bride's will. Anyone have versions that support this?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 03:42 PM

And again, I should have read the notes...
In Clare's version her brother John is also her lover, I somehow missed that.
I never noticed that The Cruel Brother had an incest element to it, maybe I should check the Child versions again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 03:39 PM

I agree, Brian, John Clare's version of The Cruel Brother is beautiful.
(And you just reminded me that I could use a scanner as well, silly me, I typed it all by hand with the book next to my PC and now my hand hurts).

One thing that's a bit unusual about John Clare's text is that the knight replies that he has asked her brother John as well (was the knight lying to her?):

8 O I have asked your brother John
Likewise your sisters every one

In many versions this verse is not in first person, it often runs something like this:

He did ask her sister Anne
But he forgot her brother John.

Which is actually the reason why the brother feels betrayed and stabs her.

The same "mistake" (I'm really not sure if it is one) also shows up in Edith Ballinger Price's Massachusetts text from about 1914:

"Oh, I have asked your father the king
And I have asked your mother the queen.

"And I have asked your sister Anne
And I have asked your brother John."


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 03:00 PM

"I just recently bought a copy of Deacon's book because I was interested in Clare's version of The Daemon Lover.

Here's John Clare's Cruel Brother"


Beat you by a minute, Kevin! Yes, I too think Clare's Demon Lover is very interesting. As is this 'Cruel Brother' which I'd never looked at before.

I know we've duplicated here, but at least it taught me how to scan text on my (relatively) new scanner, so the effort wasn't wasted!


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 02:59 PM

Whoops, looks like Brian did so as well and we both posted the text.

Anyways, here are the notes to John Clare's Daemon Lover:

This song is another of those not commonly encountered in English collections from oral sources.
Untitled in the only manuscript copy, which shows no sign of having been altered or Corrected by
Clare, it is a version of "The Daemon Lover" (Child, No. 243). Despite the resemblance between the
first two verses of Clare's version and the opening verses of "Sweet William's Ghost" (Child, No. 77),
comparison with the text that Child prints from Bucan's Ballads of North of Scotland reveals a remarkably
similar opening to the ballad. Apart from providing us with evidence of the ballad's having been sung in
Northamptonshire, Clare's version also retains not only the unusual opening but a stronger reminder of the
ghostly nature of the returning lover than do most versions (see verse 10 "& cause he was drest like a man").
Songs on the theme of returning ghost lovers are not uncommon and useful comparisons can be made with "Sweet
William's Ghost" and songs bearing the title "The Lover's Ghost" or "The Grey Cock", and with Clare's own
"Shipwreck Ghost".

Verse 11, which lacks two lines, may be completed by inserting variants of lines 3 and 4 of verse 9, i. e.

With rich velvet they were lined
To keep her feet from cold

The only other problem is the variation in verse length (from six lines to four lines). I have chosen to use a
four-line tune, repeating the last two lines of the tune for the first three, although a six-line tune could be
employed with a repetition of the last two lines of each verse. This, while not common is not unknown in other
versions of the song.

It is perhaps worth noting that this song is one of the survivors in the oral tradition from the black-letter
broadside tradition, having been printed in the seventeenth century with the following title:

"A Warning for Married Women
Being an example of Mrs Jane Reynolds (a West Country Woman) born near Plimouth, who having plighted her Troth
to a Seaman, was afterwards married to a Carpenter, and at last carried away by a Spirit, the manner how shall
presently be recited. To a West country tune, call'd The Fair Maid of Bristol, or, John True."
London: Printed for A.M. W.O. And T. Thackeray in Duck Lane.

The above is taken from a copy in the British Library which has thirty-two verses of four lines. The initials
are those of A. Milbourn and W. Onley who, with Thackeray, were printing in London during the seventeenth century.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 02:56 PM

It's just coincidence, but I've recently tried to noise reduce some of the Bell Duncan recordings from the Carpenter collection.

Here's my try on The Cruel Brother:
https://soundcloud.com/user-860765554/bell-duncan-the-cruel-brother-noise-reduce

The Cruel Brother - Recorded by James Madison Carpenter
from Bell Duncan of Lambhill, Inch, Aberdeenshire c.1934.

There is a cylinder recording of this song in the Carpenter Collection.
Of this cylinder two disc transfers were made. All the recordings contain the same
stanzas, so I've decided to use the recording that has the best audio quality
instead of including many near identical (and near unlistenable) recordings.

This version uses the burden and tune of "The Elfin Knight",
which Bell Duncan also sang.

There cam a man tae my bed side,
Ower the hills an far a-wa';
He wis askin me tae be his bride,
For the wind blows aye my plaid a-wa'.

My father he gae his consent,
Ower the hills an far a-wa,
And my mother she wis weel con-tent,
For the wind blaws aye my plaid a-wa'.

My sister said she was well pleased,
Ower the hills an far a-wa,
And my brother said she sud-na reesed,
For the wind blaws aye my plaid a-wa.

And here's The Twa Magicians:
https://soundcloud.com/user-860765554/bell-duncan-the-twa-magicians-noise-reduce

The Twa Magicians - Recorded by James Madison Carpenter
from Bell Duncan of Lambhill, Inch, Aberdeenshire c.1934.

She becam a girdle
And he becam a cake,
And a' things that she did become,
And ' he becam' her make.

And it's bide, lassie, bide,
And aye he bade her bide,
And be a brookie smith's wife,
And that'll lay yer pride.

She becam a duke, a duke,
Tae puddle in a peel,
An' he becam a drake, a drake,
Tae gie the duke a dreel.

And it's bide, lassie, bide,
And aye he bade her bide,
And be a brookie smith's wife,
And that'll lay yer pride.

And another coincidence, I just recently bought a copy of Deacon's book because I was interested in Clare's version of The Daemon Lover.

Here's John Clare's Cruel Brother:

1 As three maidens played at ball
Aye & the lily aye
There came three knights among them all
& the roseys sweet in mary

2 The first gay knight was cloathed in green (white)
Aye &c &c
& he asked one maid to be his queen
& &c

3 The next good knight was cloathed in white
& he asked the maid to be his bride

4 The next good [k]night was cloathed in red
& he asked the maid if she would wed

5 O you must ask my father dear
Likewise my mother that did me bare

6 & you must ask my lover John
Likewise my sisters every one

7 O I have asked your father dear
Likewise your mother that did you bear

8 O I have asked your brother John
Likewise your sisters every one

9 Her father gave her at the door
Her mother swooned upon the floor

10 Her father gave her at the stile
& her mother swoonded for her child

11 Her father gave her at the cross
& her brother helped her on the horse

12 He had a penknife long & sharp
& prickt his sister to the heart

13 Ride on ride on you fast good man
I think your bride looks pale & wan

14 Ride on ride on you next good man (knight)
I think your bride goes bleeding on

15 Ride on ride on you jolly bridegroom
I think your bride is almost dumb

16 She rode till she came to yonder hill
& there she lit & made her will

17 What will you leave your father dear
My wedding steed that brought me here

18 What will you give your mother dear
My wedding dress

19 That she may long upon the grief
& see she has a daughter less

20 What will you leave your sister ann
All I do wear on my right hand

21 What will you give your sister Jane
My cambric cap & gow nof green

22 What will you give your sister Sue
My wedding hat with ribbons blue

23 What will you give your brother Johns wife
Sorrow & trouble all her life

24 What will you give your brother Johns child
A father only a little wild

25 What will you give your brother John
The gallows mother to hang upon

Sources
Text given   Peterborough MS. B7 p. 34

Note to text: The words in brackets are those which Clare has deleted.


While we're at it, I can give you Clare's "Daemon Lover" as well, I recently typed it down:

Taken from my Mothers singing

1 Whos that under my window
That doth so sigh & moan
Is it my father dear
Or is it my brother John
Or is it my own true love
That from Scotland has newly come home.

2 It is not your father dear
It is not your brother John
But it is your own true love
That from Scotland has newly come home
James Ellice is my name you know
Altho youve lost the vow

3 Im new come from the salt salt sea
& its all for the sake of loving thee
I might have had a kings daughter
& she would have married me
& have forgone her golden crown
& all for the sake of thee

4 If you might have had a kings daughter
You none were much to blame
I would not for a thousand pound
My husband should hear the same

5 My husband is a carpenter
A ship carpenter is he
& by him Ive a little son
Or love Id go with thee

6 If youll forsake your husband dear
Your little son also
I will your former vows forgive
If you will with me go

7 If I forsake my husband dear
My little son also
What have you to maintain me on
If with you I should go

8 Ive seven ships sails on the seas
& one of them brought me to land
With carpenters & mariners
& all at your command

9 A pair of slippers you shall have
All of the beaten gold
With rich velvet they shall be lined
To keep your feet from cold

10 When he did tell her these fine tales
Her heart he gan to win
& cause he was drest like a man
She up & let him in

11 A pair of slippers she put on
They shined like beaten gold

12 She had not sailed on the sea
Past days two or three
Before she gan to weep & wail
& wept most bitterly

13 Did you weep for gold he said
Or do you weep for fee
Or do you weep for any man
You do love better than me

14 O I dont weep for gold she said
Nor I dont weep for fee
But I do weep for my little son
That cries for his mothers knee

15 She had not sailed on the sea
Past days three & four
When she & ship & all were sunk
& never was seen no more

16 O cursed be these mariners
They lead a wicked life
Theyve ruined this young carpenter
& deluded away his wife

Sources
Text given   Peterborough MS B4, p. 46


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 02:55 PM

Here you go, Richie. Exactly as in Deacon's book, except that I've changed his irritating ampersands for 'and's.


Child 11, from John Clare

As three maidens played at ball
Aye & the lily aye
There came three knights among them all
And the roseys sweet in mary

The first gay knight was cloathed in green (white)
And he asked one maid to be his queen

The next good knight was cloathed in white
And he asked the maid to be his bride

The next good [k]night was cloathed in red
And he asked the maid if she woud wed

O you must ask my father dear
Likewise my mother that did me bare

And you must ask my lover John
I rkcwise my sisters everyone

O I have asked your father dear
Likewise your mother that did you bear

O I have asked your brother John
Likewise your sisters everyone

Her father gave her at the door
Her mother swooned upon the floor

Her father gave her at the stile
And her mother swoonded for her child

Her father gave her at the cross
And her brother helped her on the horse

He had a penknife long and sharp
And prickt his sister to the heart

Ride on ride on you fast good man
I think your bride looks pale and wan

Ride on ride on you next good man (knight)
I think your bride goes bleeding on

Ride on ride on you jolly bridegroom
I think your bride is almost dumb

She rode till she came to yonder hill
And there she lit and made her will

What will you leave your father dear
My wedding steed that brought me here

What will you give your mother dear
My wedding dress

That she may long upon the grief
And see she has a daughter less

What will you leave your sister ann
All I do wear on my right hand

What will you give your sister Jane
My cambric cap and gown of green

What will you give your sister Sue
My wedding hat with ribbons blue

What will you give your brother Johns wife
Sorrow and trouble all her life

What will you give your brother Johns child
A father only a little wild

What will you give your brother John
The gallows mother to hang upon

Peterborough MS. 87 p.34

Note to text: the words in brackets are those which Clare has deleted.

Untitled in the manuscript, this ballad is a version of Child, No. 11,'The Cruel Brother'. In other versions it is often difficult to establish a reason for the murder of the bride by her brother. Clare’s text, however, clearly states that the suitor must ask permission of her 'lover brother'. The existence of an incestuous relationship is thus established. Incest is the cause of fratricide in several other ballads, such as 'Sheath and Knife' (Child, No. 16),'The Bonny Hind' (Child, No.50) and 'Lizzie Wan' (Child, No.51 ). It is interesting to note it is incest between brother and sister and not father and daughter. There is no mention of a child or pregnancy as there is in the other examples given. Blood ties between brother and sister and her future children could have been strong enough to warrant the brother's permission being necessary prior to the marriage, and the groom's assurance that he had sought that permission could be a lie. Another common feature in this ballad is the last will and testament ending, which also occurs in 'Lord Randal'.

Although Clare has not given a source this obviously has its roots in oral culture. However it has not been widely collected, Bronson giving only eleven tunes. Clare’s text provides a useful link between the broadside texts of the seventeenth century and the versions subsequently collected and this may well be another example of a song from his own experience and memory rather than a 'collected song'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 02:26 PM

Thank you for listing all the versions, Richie,
from glancing over all the Hicks/Harmon/Presnell versions each one of them is a bit different in details, if they all came from the same family tradition they might have been influenced by other traditional versions (and forgetfulness) to various degrees.

I'll give the links to the texts here for others to compare them easily:
Nora Hicks: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-two-sisters--hicks-nc-pre1939-walkerabram
Hattie Presnell: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/two-sisters--hattie-presnell-nc-1966-burton.a
Lee Monroe Presnell: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/two-sisters-that-loved-one-man--presnell-nc-1

Nora Hicks', Hattie Presnell's and Lee Monroe Presnell's versions are closely related, but Hattie's and Lee Monroe's are missing the ending completely.
Nora Hicks' version is the most complete US version I've seen so far, rivaled only by Aunt Becky Gordon's "Edinboro" version (See Brown C).
It's very unfortunate that no sound recording of Nora's version was made, I know that she was recorded by Frank C. Brown and William Amos Abrams, but they apparently missed this song.

Jane Gentry: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-two-sisters--jane-gentry-nc-1916--sharp-a
Maud Long: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-two-sisters--maud-long-nc-1955-rec-moser-

Jane Gentry's and Maud Long's are still similar, but Maud's has picked up the opening stanza of another standard "Bow Down" version.

One stanza:
O, as they walked down to the water's brim
The oldest pushed the youngest in.

Is very different in Jane Gentry's:
She picked her up all in her strong arms
And threwed her sister into the sea.

Maud Long's version has also replaced the harp ending with the standard "miller robs her and gets hanged" ending from the "Bow Down" versions.
I think you are right about the singer trying to get a more complete text for the collector, Steve, perhaps Maud Long has heard the "Bow Down" version of the ballad somewhere and filled out her own version with that.

Mrs. Samuel Harmon: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-two-sisters--harmon-tn-1930-henry-c.aspx

Mrs. Samuel Harmon's version is a bit like a missing link.
It is missing much of the story, but it has the Presnell opening stanza:
1. Was two sisters loved one man,
Jelly flower jan;
The rose marie;
The jury hangs o'er
The rose marie.
2. He loved the youngest a little the best,
Jelly flower jan etc.

The refrain at the end of each stanza is like Jane Gentry's version.

It has the harp stanzas, but here it's "she", apparently the bad sister herself that makes the harp.

The harp then plays:
8. The first string says, "Yonder sets my sister on a rock
Tying of a true-love's knot,"
9. The next string says, "She pushed me in the deep so far."

Which recalls an earlier stanza from Jane Gentry's version:
7. O the farmer's wife was sitting on a rock,
Tying and a-sewing of a black silk knot.

I guess that Mrs. Samuel Harmon's ending was once part of Jane Gentry's version too, but eventually forgotten.

Those are my observations for now.

-Kevin W.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for the questions, that improves that section-- headnotes changed now.

Here's the only Carpenter version of Child 11. If anyone has the John Clare text (As three maidens played at ball, B7 34; Folk Tradition 186; Middle Period II 280) I need that. I'm curious to check the text of the Sloane MSS, 1489, fol. 16, from the early 1600s which has the same opening. It's published as a nursery rhyme by Halliwell.

From: James Madison Carpenter Collection, JMC/1/2/2/D, pp. 04600-04601

The Cruel Brother- Miss Bell Duncan of Insch, Aberdeenshire. Learned from her mother

There cam a man to my bedside
o'er the hills an' far awa',
He wis askin' me tae be his bride,
For the wind blaws aye my plaid away'.

My father he gaen his consent,
An' my mother she wis weel content,

My sister she was well pleased
But my brother said she sudna reased,

The weddin' was set and the weddin' came,
An' the steed cam there to tak her hame,

Her mother led her through the room,
An' her sister dear she brocht her doon,

Her father led her through the close,
An' her brother set her on her horse,

Below his cloak he wore a brand,
He concealed it weel wi' his left hand,

he has slipped it through a strae,
An' through her body made it gae,

They hadna ridden a mile bet ane;
"Stop, stop! My bonnie bride's pale an' wan,

Frae her steed she then was ta'en,
An' her vera heairts bleed rin on the green,

"Fat will ye leave tee yer father dear?"
"The guid grey steed that brocht me here."

"Fat will ye leave tee yer mother dear?"
"Three long tits o my yellow hair,"

"Fat will ye leave tee yer sister dear?"
"my marriage goon and the weed I wear,"

"Fat will ye leave tee yer Brother John?"
"A high gallows tree for to hang on,"

"Fat will ye leave tee yer bother's wife?"
"A vera sad an unhappy life,"

"Fat will ye leave tee yer brother's bairns?"
"That they may die in each other's arms."
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 01:08 PM

Hi,

TY Steve, you've been a big help. Brian here are the six versions from the Hicks/Harmon/Presnell family all with the flower/herb refrains:

I. The herd/flower refrains, "Jury flower gent the roseberry," ("Gilliflower gentle rosemary") with resuscitation stanzas; archaic American, dated c.1779 through Big Sammy Hicks of Virginia then North Carolina. From relatives of Hicks, Harmon, Presnell families of North Carolina, Tennessee.
    a. "The Two Sisters." Sung by Mrs. Jane Gentry at Hot Springs, N. C. on September, 11, 1916; from Sharp's EFFSA, version A.
    b. "The Two Sisters." Recorded by Mrs. Henry from the singing of Mrs. Samuel Harmon, Cade's Cove, Blount County, Tennessee, August 13, 1930. From Mellinger Henry's 1938 book, Folk-Songs from the Southern Highlands, version C.
    c. "The Two Sisters," from Abrams, Variant 1, sung by Mrs. Nora Hicks, as copied down by Addie Hicks and given to Abrams by Edith Walker in 1939. From the Abrams Collection, part of Documenting Appalachia digital initiative at Appalachian State University.
    d. "The Two Sisters That Loved One Man," sung Lee Monroe Presnell from Beech Mountain NC, (Buna Hicks uncle), recorded by Frank Warner in 1951 without resuscitation stanzas.
    e. "The Two Sisters," sung by Maud Long (Jane Gentry's daughter). From the recording, "North Carolina Ballads" by Artus Moser, Folkways recording FA 2112, 1955.
    f. "Two Sisters." Sung by Hattie Presnell; a composite of versions from 1966 through 1971. From Some Ballad Folks, Burton, 1978. His notes follow. Hattie Presnell learned this from her Uncle Monroe.

Kevin. As far as Maud Long's version, I meant the opening lines were fuller but after looking at it carefully Maud sings a different version of Twa Sisters with her mother's refrain. I'll ck Smith (her book on Jane Gentry) and see if there's anything there.

Hattie Presnell's version is different also and similar to Uncle Monroe Presnell's version which is confused at the end. Both seem to be more Scottish.

Only Jane Gentry, Nora Hicks and Mrs. Sam Harmon have versions with the resuscitation ending but all have the similar refrains. It's clear that my headnotes need to reflect that these versions are not the same- they just have the same refrains,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 12:45 PM

Regarding Maud Long's different versions. I have examples of recording source singers who, when they were aware of collectors etc., becoming interested in their songs went to some lengths to add material from printed sources or from other versions. This is just a possibility with Maud Long's additions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 11:03 AM

"Is there another, more complete text of her version available?"

The Library of Congress appears to have a recording from 1947, presumably not made by Maud Karpeles, who visited Ms Long three years later. I'm sure Richie will be along soon to tell us.

Richie, what are the six Hicks/Harmon/Presnell versions? I know about Jane Gentry, Maud Long, Lee Monroe Presnell and now Nora Hicks - I can't see any more transcriptions on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 09:40 AM

Richie,
I've just finished reading your article on Child 10, my hat's off to you, that was a wonderfully detailed account of the many different forms this ballad has taken in English language versions.

I'm curious about Maud Long's version, in your article you write that she sang a more complete version than Jane Hicks Gentry, containing stanzas that Cecil Sharp had missed, and that it also had the resuscitation ending.

However, looking at the text of Long's version as recorded by Moser:
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-two-sisters--maud-long-nc-1955-rec-moser-

Her version does not have the instrument making stanzas, it ends with the miller being hanged. Is there another, more complete text of her version available?

I'm familiar with the recoding of Artus Moser singing the ballad as learned from Maud Long and it is the shorter text seen on your website.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 06:28 PM

Superb research, Richie!


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 08:00 PM

Hi Brian,

There are six Hicks/Harmon/Presnell versions with the herb/flower refrains-- all from the same family- three have the resuscitation stanzas (and another resuscitation version is from Jane Gentry's daughter, Maud Long, with additional stanzas of Jane Gentry's version). I've traced them back to Big Sammy Hicks from Fannie Hicks and separately from Council Harmon, who was Jane Gentry's grandfather and briefly lived with her. Council's son was the father of Samuel Harmon who moved to Tennessee. Council lived with Big Sammy when he was a child and his father was killed by a tree when Counce was about 7. His mother Sabra Hicks couldn't take care of her children and they stayed with Big Sammy,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Brian Peters
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 05:37 PM

"It is a striking feature of this ballad just how different these forms and refrains are."

Indeed, Richard.

"...the English "Bow Down" variant (Child Y), minus the resuscitation but with punishment, was brought to America in the mid-late 1700s"

That's what I've suspected for some time, Richie. Like many of the most popular Appalachian ballads, it most likely went over from England.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 04:49 PM

> The ur-ballad has branched off from its Norse roots and taken different forms with a variety of refrains.

It is a striking feature of this ballad just how different these forms and refrains are. AFAIK no other ballad comes close to having such a variety of forms. Several persons must have quite deliberately rebuilt this ballad at one time or another while keeping the same plot apart from the inclusion or exclusion of the resuscitation stanzas, either working from previous versions in English or perhaps making new translations from Scandinavian versions.

A few days ago I commented that Brian Miller's version was the first I have ever met where the dead girl's ghost instructs the musician to use parts of her body for his instrument, and where the elder sister's punishment is tit for tat: to be drowned. I am now reminded that this is Child O apart from the omission of a few verses and some other very minor changes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 02:43 PM

Hi,

I've completed the rough draft of "Twa Sisters," thanks everyone for their help. It's here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/british-and-other-versions--10-twa-sisters.aspx Comments welcome, I know there are minor errors.

Here's the ending section- Some Conclusions:

Some Conclusions
The ballad of the Twa Sisters is about the murder of the younger sister by an elder sister[37] over the affections of a man who courts them both and prefers the younger sister. Although jealousy is the motive there's a deeper additional motive of skin-color envy: the elder sister is dark skinned while the younger is fair skinned or white so the elder sister feels she can't compete for a groom with her younger sister. In the ur-ballad the elder sister's murder has given her sole access to their suitor, and they are to be married.

The ballad is about punishment or retribution for the crime of murder which, except for a confession from the elder sister, would not be solved. The retribution is made only through the supernatural resuscitation ending-- the dead sister speaks through a musical instrument with strings fashioned from her hair[38] and reveals the elder sister as the murderer. That this revelation occurs in some Scandinavian versions at the wedding of the elder sister with the younger sister's beloved is fitting. The punishment as ordered by the bridegroom: the elder sister is to be burned to death upon a pyre.

Paul Brewster who did the last detailed study of the ballad in 1953 believes the Marchen to be of Slavic origin. From the tale the ballad originated in Norway before 1600 then spread throughout Scandinavia. By the early 1600s the Two Sisters had spread to Scotland then England and Ireland where the miller (and mill dam) where added. In the UK The Twa Sisters emerged in different forms with different refrains. Two of the most popular variants lost the resuscitation ending:

1. the English "Bow Down" variant (Child Y), minus the resuscitation but with punishment, was brought to America in the mid-late 1700s. Although the miller finds the body, he is not the younger sister's love. The miller finds the younger sister in the water, robs her then pushes her back out into the water. The miller is hung (or burned) and the elder sister burned (or hung).
2. the Scottish "Binorie" variant (Child M), minus the resuscitation and punishment, was developed in Scotland in the last half of the 1700s. The miller laddie, though not at fault for the death of his beloved (the younger sister) sometimes dies at her funeral, presumably of a broken heart.

An early version of the English "Bow Down" variant with herb refrains and the missing resuscitation stanzas (my I form) was collected in America from the Hick-Harmon families. It's easy to imagine that this form existed before the short form (Child Y) was created and that the Child Y text originated from a ballad similar to the Hicks/Harmon ballad in England during the early to mid 1700s. In the new ballad represented by Child Y and the many versions of North America, the bow down refrains were inserted, the resuscitation stanzas were left off and a new short "punishement" ending replaced them.

Because most of the Maritime Canada versions have similar refrains to "Bows of London," it may be assumed they originated from the early Scottish variants first collected around 1770. The "Swan Swims Sae Bonny" refrain versions with resuscitation stanzas which Barry presumed to be Irish then Scottish (but they are both) were well known by the Scottish travelers in the 1900s. Carpenter collected an excellent version from Mary Robertson in the early 1930s and versions from the Whyte (White) and Stewart traveller families have been collected from the 1950s onward. Presumably the ballad is still sung traditionally among travellers as Elizabeth Stewarts version was recorded in 2004.

The ur-ballad has branched off from its Norse roots and taken different forms with a variety of refrains. In the versions with the resuscitation stanza the story has not changed much -- only missing the final scene at the wedding of the elder sister. The construction of the ur-ballad would necessarily include the courtship, the rejection of the elder sister because she is darker, the sisters going for a walk to the the sea brim (strand), the murder, the offers of the drowning girl to her older sister, the rejection of those offers, the drowning and recovery, the resuscitation of the younger sister at the wedding of the elder sister and their suitor, and finally, the punishment of the elder sister.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 09 Jul 18 - 05:17 PM

Several more fine versions there - thanks Richie and Kevin.

I'm particularly interested in the Nora Hicks version, which strongly resembles that sung by Lee Monroe Presnell - who was of course part of the Beech Mountain clan and presumably the other NC source you mention. But Nora's has the individual strings of the fiddle giving voice, which is very rare in US variants.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 18 - 06:50 PM

Hi,

This may be oldest version with the same chorus. Copied as written from Transactions and Journal of Proceedings - Page 76, 77; Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society - 1936. The title is obviously not a good one for there are "three sisters." I'm assuming it's a title that has been attached by an editor and the text is by Elizabeth St. Clair of Edinburgh about 1770 who compiled the Mansfield Manuscripts:

THE TWA SISTERS. [Bonny Bowes of London]
MS., pp. 171-176
The second and fourth lines of the first verse are given in a contracted form in verses 2-21.

1 There lived three sisters in a Bower
Heigh & a gay & a grounding
There came a knight to court them there
At the bonny bowes of London

2 He courted the Eldest with a knife
But he loved the youngest as his life

3 The Eldest to the Youngest said
Will Ye go our fathers ships to sea

4. But when they came to the seaside
The Eldest she the youngest betray'd

5. O set your foot upon yon stone
And reach me up my gay gold ring

6. She's set her foot upon yon stone
And she gave her a shoot & she's faen in

7. O sister tak me by the hand
And ye's get a my fathers land

8. O sister tak me by the glove
And ye'se get William to be your love.

9. I will not tak ye by the hand
For I ken Ill be heir of my fathers land

10 I will not tak ye by the glove
For I ken Ill get William to be my love

11. O aye she sank & aye she swam
Untill she came to yon Mill Dam

12 The millar came out wi' his lang Cleek
He thought to gripe her by the feet

13. He could nae gripe her by the feet
Her silken shoes they were sae, weet

14. He gat her griped by & by
And he laid her on a Dyke to dry

15. Her fathers fidler coming by
She spake unto him & did say

16. Gie my service to my father King
And likewise to my mother Queen

17. Gie my service to my Brother John
And likewise to my true love William

18. Gie my service to my sister Ann
And gar burn my sister Alison

19. When he to the gates did come
The fiddle began to play its lane

20. Gie my service to my father King
And likewise to my mother Queen

21. Gie my service to my brother John
And likewise to, my true love William

22 Gie my service to my sister Ann
Heigh & a gay & a grounding
But gar burn my sister Alison
At the bonny bowes of London
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 07 Jul 18 - 12:04 AM

Hi,

Brian Miller emailed me yesterday:

Hi

This was a very long time ago! I believe I found it in a book in Rutherglen Library. From memory it could have been Ford's Vagabond Songs. Or maybe Christie. Might be able to check once home.

I once heard Martin Carthy sing a quite different ballad to the same tune. Pretty sure he said it was from Ford. Later he recorded with Dave Swarbrick another longer version of the two sisters ballad with this tune but lyrics from a different source. Think the CD was called something like Life and Limb.

Hope that helps a bit.

Brian         

PS I was at Strathclyde University from 1968 to 1972. Not Glagow. I believe the recording was made at Blairgowrie TMSA festival singing competition.


* * * *

After checking it was from Christie who used Peter Buchan's text (1828, below) and made some slight changes. Here are the notes and text from Buchan's "Ballads of the North of Scotland" II, 128, 1828.

Buchan's notes: I have seen four or five different versions of this ballad; but none in this dress, nor with the same chorus, which makes me give its insertion here. In this copy, we are informed that the lady's suitor was a king's son, whereas, in most of the others, he was only a baron. The fatal incidents are nearly the same. The old woman, from whose recitation I took it down, says she had heard another way of it, quite local, whose burden runs thus:- “Even into Buchanshire, vari, vari, O.”

THE BONNY BOWS O' LONDON

THERE were twa sisters in a bower,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding ;
And ae king's son hae courted them baith,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

He courted the youngest wi' brooch and ring,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
He courted the eldest wi' some other thing,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

It fell ance upon a day,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
The eldest to the youngest did say,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London:

“Will ye gae to the bonnie mill-dam
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
And see our father's ships come to land,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.”

They baith stood up upon a stane,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
The eldest dang the youngest in,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

She swimmed up, sae did she down,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
Till she came to the Tweed mill-dam,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

The miller's servant he came out,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
And saw the lady floating about,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

“O master, master, set your mill,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
There is a fish, or a milk-white swan,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.”

They could not ken her yellow hair,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
The scales o' gowd that were laid there,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

They could not ken her fingers sae white,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
The rings o' gowd they were sae bright,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

They could not ken her middle sae jimp,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
The stays o' gowd were so well laced,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

They could not ken her foot sae fair,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
The shoes o' gowd they were so rare,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

Her father's fiddler he came by,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
Upstarted her ghaist before his eye,
At the bonny, bonny bows of London.

“Ye'll take a lock o' my yellow hair,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
Ye'll make a string to your fiddle there,
At the bonny, bonny bows of London.

“Ye'll take a lith o' my little finger bane,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
And ye’ll make a pin to your fiddle then,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.”

He’s ta'en a lock o’ her yellow hair,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
And made a string to his fiddle there,
At the bouny, bonny bows o' London.

He's taen a lith o' her little finger bane,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding;
And he's made a pin to his fiddle then,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.

The first and spring the fiddle did play,
Hey wi' the gay and the grinding:
Said, “Ye'll drown my sister, as she's dune me,
At the bonny, bonny bows o' London.”
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 11:47 PM

Hi,

TY Mitch and Richard. I've contacted Siobhan Miller, Brian's daughter and a fine traditional ballad singer. She's going to send the request of the source to her dad-- maybe she'll record his version someday. Here's a different version she recorded of the Twa Sisters:

Swan Swims sae Bonnie: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Siobhan+Miller&&view=detail&mid=EF7E8A4389E283537C87EF7E8A4389E283537C87&&FORM=VDRVRV

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 05:05 AM

I've just listened to the Brian Miller (appropriate name!) recording. Fascinating! This is the first version I have ever met where the dead girl's ghost instructs the musician (in this case her father's fiddler) to use parts of her body for his instrument (in this case her hair and her little finger bone), and where the elder sister's punishment is tit for tat: to be drowned.

BTW, when I sing a version including the "resuscitation" I have her hair being used for the fiddle bow, which seems more appropriate than for a string, although that does mean that, if the fiddle is to play "all alone", rather than in the fiddler's hands, then the bow has to be involved as well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 06:36 PM

Ritchie - all he says at the beginning of the track is "My name's Brian Miller. I'll sing for you The Twa Sisters".

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3
From: Richie
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 04:24 PM

Hi,

There are numerous versions by the Scot travellers. This is by Johnny Whyte and is taken from his mother but is similar to John (Jock) Whyte's 1953 version (although Johnny's father was John (Jock) Whyte I'm not certain that they are the same). Johnny was born in 1910, traveled in Perth as a young man, and by 1975 when this was recorded was living in Montrose area near his brother Bryce Whyte (b. 1914) whose wife Betsy sang the same version. Johnny was recorded three times by Linda Williamson from 1975-78. The word "swim" in the refrain appears as sweem or sweems-- I've changed them all to "sweems." There is some melodic resemblance to the Kelby version collected by MacColl and sent to Bronson. Strangely the identical text is attributed to Christina MacAllister in MacColl's 1977 book, Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland.

Swan Sweems Sae Bonnie

1. Dear sisterie, dear sisterie, are you going for a walk,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
And I'll show you wonderies before you come home,
And the swan but sweems sae bonnie-o.

2. Dear sister, dear sisterie, we'll go for a walk,
Hy-ie-o, eae bonnie-o;
If you show me wonderiee before we come home,
And the swan it sweems sae bonnie-o.

3. Dear sister, dear sisterie, we'll go for a walk,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
If you show me wonderies before we come home,
And the swan 'at sweems sae bonnie-o.

4. Dear sisterie, dear sisterie, put your footen on marble stonie,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
And I'll show you that wonderie before we turn home,
And the swan 'at sweems sae bonnie-o.

5. Dear sisterie, dear sisterie, I put my foot on the marble stonie,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
But sly she throwed her against a' the stream,
And the swan 'at sweems sae bonnie-o.

6. Dear sister, dear sisterie, will you take-a my handie?
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
And I'll make you mistress of all my father's landie,
And the swan that sweem sae bonnie-o.

7. Sometime she sunk noo, other time she swum,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
At last 'he came to the millerie's dam,
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

8. The millerie's maiden was out forie some waterie,
He-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
I see a maiden or a whitemilk swan,
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

9. Oh miller, oh millerie, oh dry up your dam,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
I see a maiden or a white-milk swanie,
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

10 The miller drew noo up his dam
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
And then they took her and hand her oot,
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

11. There were three fiddleries on their-ie way
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
One o' them took three links of her hair-ie,
For to make the fiddle stringies
Her middle finger-ie for-ie tae make some fiddle pins
The other took now her-ie breast bone
For to mak a fiddle that would play a tune its lone
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

12. The three fiddlers went on their way,
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
Till they come to her father's castle wall
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

13. There now sits my father the king
Hy-ie-o, sae bonnie-o;
And likewise now my mother the queen,
And the swan that sweems sae bonnie-o.

14. Aye and there sits my false sister Jean,
[1st refrain omited]
Who's slyly throwed me against the stream,
And the swan 'at sweems sae bonnie-o.

* * * *

Richie


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