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Jellon Graeme (Child #90)

DigiTrad:
JELLON GRAEME


Joe Offer 14 Jun 18 - 10:02 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jun 18 - 10:19 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Jun 18 - 02:39 AM
OldNicKilby 15 Jun 18 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 15 Jun 18 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 15 Jun 18 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 16 Jun 18 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Philippa 16 Jun 18 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 16 Jun 18 - 11:50 AM
Richard Mellish 17 Jun 18 - 09:35 AM
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Subject: DT Study: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 10:02 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads



Sadie Damascus played two versions of this song on her program this evening. I'm not familiar with this intriguing song, so I thought it might be worth some study. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Jellon Grame [Child 90]

DESCRIPTION: (Jellon Grame) murders the woman he claims to love (because she carries his child and he fears discovery/because she loves another whose child she carries). (He/her sister) raises the boy. He later reveals the murder to the boy, who kills him.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1802 (Scott)
KEYWORDS: love pregnancy homicide revenge
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber)) US(SE)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Child 90, "Jellon Grame" (4 texts)
Bronson 90, "Jellon Grame" (1 version)
GordonBrown/Rieuwerts, pp. 224-226, "Jellon Grame and Little Flower" (1 text)
GlenbuchatBallads, pp. 121-124, "Gil Ingram" (1 text)
GreigDuncan2 198, "Jellon Graeme" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
Davis-More 27, pp. 207-213, "Jellon Grame" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 284-286, "Jellon Grame" (1 text)
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 196-197, "Jellon Grame" (1 text)
OBB 49, "Jellon Grame" (1 text)
PBB 55, "Jellon Grame" (1 text)
DT 90, JELGRAEM

Roud #58
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Fause Foodrage" [Child 89] (theme)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Jellon Graeme
NOTES [65 words]: Davis seems to have no doubts about the authenticity of his text, the lone representative outside Scotland of a ballad with only the weakest roots in tradition even there -- this even though, as he himself admits, it has a surprising similarity to Child A. Well, if he won't question it, I will. I'm not saying it's a fake -- but I wouldn't be surprised if it were influenced by print. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
File: C090

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

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics. The first half is word-for-word the same as what Peggy Seeger sings, but there are a few words different in the second half. Here's the Peggy Seeger Folkways recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM4qIxDKEig (may not play outside the United States)

JELLON GRAEME

Jellon Graeme sat in the wood, he whistled and he sang
He called for his servant boy who quickly to him ran

Hurry up, hurry up, my pretty little boy, as fast as ever you can
You must run for Rosy Flower before the day is gone

The boy buckled on his yellow belt and through the woods he sang
Ran till he came to the lady's window before the day was gone

Are you awake little Rosy Flower, the blood runs cold as rain
I was asleep, but now I'm awake, who's that that calls my name?

You must go to the Silver Wood, though you never come back again
You must go to the Silver Wood to speak with Jellon Graeme

I will go to the Silver Wood though I never come back again
The man I most desire to see is my love, Jellon Graeme
She had not rid about two long mile, it were not more than three
Till she came to a new dug grave beneath the white oak tree

Out and sprang young Jellon Graeme from out of the woods nearby
Get down, get down, you Rosy Flower, it's here that you will die

She jumped down from off her horse, then down upon her knee
Pity on me, dear Jellon Graeme, I'm not prepared to die
Wait until our babe is born and then you can let me lie

If I should spare your life, he said, until our babe is born
I know your pa and all your kin would hang me in the morn

Pity on me, dear Jellon Graeme, my pa you need not dread
I'll bear my baby in the Silver Wood and go and beg my bread

No pity, no pity for Rosy Flower, on her knees she pray
He stabbed her deep with the silver steel and at his feet she lay

No pity, no pity for Rosy Flower, she was a lying dead
But pity he had for his little young son a smothering in her
blood

He's torn the baby out of the womb, washed him in water and blood
Named him after a robber man, he called him Robin Hood

Then he took him to his house and set him on a nurse's knee
He growed as much in a one year time as other ones do in three

Then he took him to read and write and for to learn how to thrive
He learned as much in the one year time as other ones do in five

But I wonder now, said little Robin, if a woman did me bear
Many a mother do come for the rest, but never one come for me

It fell out in the summertime when they was a hunting game
They stopped to rest in the Silver Wood, him and Jellon Graeme

I wonder now, said little Robin, why my mammy don't come for me?
To keep me hid in the Silver Wood, I calls it a cruelty
But I wonder now, says little Robin, if the truth would ever be
known
Why all this woods is a growing green and under that tree there's
none?

You wonder now, said Jellon Graeme, Why your mammy don't come for
thee
Lo, there's the place I laid her low, right under that white oak
tree

The little boy chose him an arrow was both keen and sharp
Laid his cheek all along the bow and pierced his father's heart

Lie there, lie there, you Jellon Graeme, the grave you will never
see
The place where lies my mammy dear is far too good for thee

I should have torn you out of the womb and thrown you upon a thorn
Let the wind blow east and the wind blow west and left you to die
alone
Child #90
recorded by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl on Blood and Roses
@murder @bastard
see also SHEATHKF BANKROSE
filename[ JELGRAEM
TUNE FILE: JELGRAEM
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF





Here are the notes from the Peggy Seeger recording from Smithsonian-Folkways The Folkways Years:
    5. Jellon Graeme (Child 90)
    Peggy Seeger, vocal and banjo, Recorded in Concert November 3, 1982
    This is a very rare ballad. Since the publication of Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads, it has been, to our knowledge, reported only twice in the oral tradition. This text, from the memory of M.A. Yarber, Mast, NC, is startlingly like the Child A-text. Child's other texts seem over-complicated in comparison. The simpler story remains a grand example of a genre not often found in balladry: that of patricide committed by a grown child.


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 10:19 PM

In some versions (like the one in the DT), the boy is named Robin Hood - but I don't think that every version of the song says he's Robin Hood - but this is not THE Robin Hood.

Here's a recording by "Broadside Electric": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kcUTpwGExQ

And by Peggy Seeger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM4qIxDKEig (may not play outside U.S.)


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 02:39 AM

This is Peggy's note from Blood and Roses; slightly expanded from The Folklore Years
Jim Carroll

JELLON GRAEME (Child 90)
This is a very rare ballad - since the publication of Child, it has been reported only twice in the oral tradition, once from Scotland and once from Virginia (via North Carolina). My text, from the memory of M. A. Yarber, Mast. N. C., is startlingly like the Child A-text. The B & B and C texts are notably different, in that the maid is alain by Hend Henry, brother to Brown Robin (the Father of the child). May Margerie's sisters come running to the wood, take the infant up and educate him. When he is grown, he meets Hind Henry in the wood and slays him. These latter two texts seem over-complicated and top-heavy with detail - The simpler story remains a grand example of a genre not often found in balladry: that of a grown child killing its parent.


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 06:25 AM

I might be wrong but I seem to remember "Th' Antiques " singing this. Exceedingly fine song


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 11:57 AM

The version that Peggy Seeger recorded is from Kyle Davis Jr., "More Traditional Ballads of Virginia" (1960):
US & Canada Versions: 90. Jellon Grame

I absolutely love Peggy's version, it's fantastic!

This ballad is indeed very rare in oral tradition.
For the curious, the only existing field recording of Jellon Graeme was made by Dr James Madison Carpenter
from the singing of Alexander Robb of New Deer, Aberdeenshire between 1929 and 1935 (the Roud Index doesn't give the exact date).

Text:
Alex Robb - Jellon Grame Transcription
1st Recording:
Alex Robb - Jellon Grame (Disc Recording 1)
2nd Recording:
Alex Robb - Jellon Grame (Disc Recording 2)
3rd Recording:
Alex Robb - Jellon Grame (Cylinder Recording)

It's only the first two stanzas, unfortunately.
I wish Carpenter had recorded this (and many other rare pieces) in it's entirety.

Alex Robb also sung his version for Gavin Greig in 1907.


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 03:15 PM

I also have a recording of Paul Clayton singing "Jellon Grame", if someone wants like to hear it:
Jellon Grame - Paul Clayton

It's from the 1956 Lp "Bloody Ballads". I figured there is little harm in sharing it because it's long out of print and hard to find now.


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 09:16 AM

I apologize for posting three times in a row, but I have some more info to add.

Here are Francis James Child's notes and texts of Jellon Grame for those interested:
Child #90 - Jellon Grame

And here's the text as given in Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Vol. II (1802), which differs in some details from Child's A version:
Jellon Grame - Walter Scott

The line "He sharped his broad sword lang" in the first verse shows up in Scott's text and in Alexander Robb's text from oral tradition.
I wouldn't think it unlikely that Scott's book had some influence on the oral tradition of this ballad.

Here's some information on Alexander Robb:
Alexander Robb - Name Authority Record

I also copied Alex Robb's version as it was taken down by Gavin Greig in 1907 from Bertrand Bronson's "Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, Vol. II":

"Jellon Graeme." Greig MSS., II, p. 140; and Bk. 769, LIX, p.
18, King's College Library, Aberdeen. Also in Gavin Greig, Ry-
mour Club Miscellanea, I (1919), p. 199; and in Gavin Greig
and Alexander Keith, Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and
Ballad Airs, 1925, p. 71.

Sung by ALexander Robb, New Deer, Aberdeenshire.

O, Jellon Graeme sat in good greenwood,
   And he sharped his broadsword lang;*
He called on his young footpage,
   Who quickly to him ran.

Get up, get up, my young footpage,
   As far as e'er ye can,
For ye maun gang to Lily Flooer
   Ere the sun be on the rain;
And ye maun gang to Lily Flooer,
   And I fear ye'll never win hame.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

   Fell low down on her knee,-
Spare my life now, Jellon Graeme,
   For I'm nae prepared to dee,

* 1919: keen

And finally, here's the text from "The Glenbuchat Ballads", an important ballad collection from the Reverend Robert Scott, minister of the parish of Glenbuchat in Aberdeenshire, Scotland crica 1818 that was unknown to Francis James Child:

Gil Ingram (The Glenbuchat Ballads)
VOL. II : 15, PP. 48–51
(Child 90, Jellon Grame; Roud 58)

01 Sleep ye wake ye Lilly Flower
       Or are ye no within
    I sleepna aft I wake right aft
       Wha are ye kens my name

02 Ye’re bidden come to good green wood
       An haste thee there wi’ speed
    To mak to your love Gil Ingram
       A sark o’ summer weed

03 Ye lie ye lie ye bonny boy
       So loud’s I hear ye lie
    For its nae a month, nor yet a week
       Nor days but barely three
    Since I made to my love Gil Ingram
       Sarks for summers three

04 But ye’re pray’d to come wi me lady
       O dinna tarry lang
    But come wi me to good green wood
       An speak wi Gil Ingram

05 She’s ta’en her mantle her about
       To green wood fast shes gone
    An sair she called for Gil Ingram
       But answer she got nane

06 She lookit east, she lookit west
       If she her love could see
    An’ she saw but fause Gillom Graham
       Beneath a green wood tree

07 Cast aff, cast aff, fair Lilly Flower
       That gown that ye have on
    It is o’er good an’ o’er costly
       To ly amo’ the feam

08 Aff she has cast her robes o’ silk
       An’ laid them on a stone
    She was a woman fair enough
       Tho’ she stood coat alone

09 O mercy, mercy Gillom Graham
       Have mercy upon me
    Such as ye gave, such shall ye have
       No mercy lady for thee

10 O mindna ye fair Lilly Flower
       When your rich bridal stood
    For hunger we were gard eat men’s flesh
       For thirst to drink men’s blood

11 Cast aff, cast aff fair Lilly Flower
       That coats that ye have on
    They are oer good to be stained wi blood
       O’ that they shall get none

12 O mercy, mercy Gillom Graham
       When I’m your brother’s wife
    Hae mercy on your brother’s bairn
       Altho’ ye wish my life
    For I hae nae langer to go wi bairn
       But days barely five

13 Out has he ta’en a thristy bran
       An’ strippit o’er a straw
    An’ thro’ an’ thro’ her fair body
       He gart cauld iron ga

14 O bonny was that Lilly Flower
       Was slain in the green wood
    An’ bonny was the knight bairnie
       Lay weltering in her blood

15 Up has he ta’en that bonny boy
       An’ rowed him in his sleeve
    Altho’ I have slain your fair mother
       Your father to me was leave

16 Up has he taen the bonny boy
       An’ rowed him in his han’
    Your mother was ance far dearer to me
       Than houses or than land

17 He’s taen him to his mother’s bower
       As fast as he could gang
    Nurse well, nurse well this bairn mother
       Until he be a man
    His mother put foot in a Flander’s ship
       An’ to Flanders did she gang

18 Nurse well, nurse well, this bairn mother
       Gi’ him to nurses three
    An’ if I live an’ brook my life
       Well paid shall be their fee

19 Nurse well, nurse well this bairn mother
       Gi him to nurses nine
    Three to sleep, an three to wake
       An’ three to go between

20 O it fell ance upon a day
       That Gillom Graham thought lang
    An’ he has gane to good green wood
       An’ took the boy wi him

21 It wonders me said the bonny boy
       The Flander’s ships ne’er tak’ the sea
    The woman that ye ca’ my mither
       Thinks never lang for me

22 It wonders me says the bonny boy
       The Flanders ships taksna the faem
    The lady ye ca my mither
       Thinks never lang for hame

23 O see na ye yon tree my boy
       — — — — —
    Your father was ance …
       — — — — —

24 O see na ye yon rose my boy
       An’ the lilly by its side
    Your mother was a fairer flower
       When she was your father’s pride

Stanzas numbered, except 22 to 24; second and fourth lines indented.
05 Line 4: he made to she got.
07 Line 4: foam to feam.
12 Line 5–6: Initially numbered as a new stanza; number blotted out

Now we have all known versions of the ballad together in one thread.

By the way, here's another nice rendition of the ballad, sung by Raymond Crooke on Youtube:
Raymond Crooke - Jellon Grame (Child #90)

He took upon him the enormous task of recording a version of every single Child Ballad, hats off to him.


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 10:55 AM

some similarities to the ballad of Gil Morice, but with additional layers of complexity


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 11:50 AM

It's notable that both Gil Morice and Jellon Graeme mention "Silver Wood" and that both call for their footpage to go on an errand for them, although that may be a ballad commonplace.

What's strange about the text from the Glenbuchat manuscript is that the name changes halfway through from Gil Ingram to Gillom Graham, I have no idea why that is.

Here's an alternate version of Child 90 B, from Additions and Corrections 5:
Jellon Grame - Additions and Corrections 5


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Subject: RE: Jellon Graeme (Child #90)
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 17 Jun 18 - 09:35 AM

> What's strange about the text from the Glenbuchat manuscript is that the name changes halfway through from Gil Ingram to Gillom Graham

Those could simply be different attempts to write something pronounced the same; something like "Jillim Grame".


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