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Origins: Queen Sally


Related thread:
Origins: The Death of Queen Jane (Child #170) (22)

Joe Offer 14 May 20 - 12:04 AM
cnd 14 May 20 - 12:24 AM
Reinhard 14 May 20 - 01:06 AM
Jim Carroll 14 May 20 - 03:45 AM
Joe Offer 01 Aug 20 - 09:37 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Queen Sally
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 May 20 - 12:04 AM

Casey Casebeer sang this. It's supposed to be an American version of "The Young Sailor from Dover."

Got lyrics?

Casey loves to stump me.


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Subject: ADD: Queen Sally
From: cnd
Date: 14 May 20 - 12:24 AM

Folkways albums always have excellent liner notes. Copied & poasted (with some typographical corrections) from Virginia Traditions: Ballads from British Tradition:

Kate's rendition of "Queen Sally" is highly unusual; she has grappled with the problem of fitting ordinary guitar chord accompaniment to a rhythmically complex song. Her solution has been
to simply (but uniquely) alter the time from 3/4 to 2/4 as needed and not to attempt to adhere to any one strict time signature. She has subtly subjugated the instrumental accompaniment to
the maintenance of the tune's odd twists and quirks.

The song itself has an interesting and complex history. Not only is it very similar to some versions of "The Brown Girl" (see Sharp variant J, pp. 303-304), it is also very much like some texts of "The Death of Queen Jane" (Child 170; Sharp 32, pp. 230-232). The main difference between the two ballads has to do with why Queen Jane (or Sally) is sick. In "The Death of Queen Jane," King Henry cuts a baby-his-from her dying body. In "The Brown Girl," there is none of that; we can only assume that she (in this case Queen Sally) is bearing an illegitimate child. Consequently, the overall emotion of the song is not one of sorrow on the part of the doctor (or King Henry), but rather of scorn. Kate's version is also unique in that the man called for is King Henry; he is usually a "young squire" or a "wealthy merchant." The name is evidently borrowed from "The Death of Queen Jane." Cox mentions a number of variant titles including "Sally and her True Love Billy," "The Bold Sailor," and "The (Young) Sailor from Dover" and says it has been in print since the late 18th


Queen Sally, Queen Sally
Taken sick down in bed,
No one knew the reason
To relieve her from bed.

King Henry was sent for
On horseback full speed,
To relieve Queen Sally,
Queen Sally his maid.

"I am no doctor,
Why did you send for me here?"
"Yes, you 're the doctor
Who can kill or can cure.

"I courted you in honor,
You slighted me in scorn,
I'm now going to remind you
Of things past and gone.

"Of days past and gone, love,
Let's forget and forgive,
Spare me one hour.
Please Lord let me live"

"I'll spare you no hour,
No moment or day,
I'll dance on your grave love
When you're 'neath the cold clay."

Off of her fingers
Diamond rings she drew three,
"Wear these loving Henry,
When you're dancing o'er me.

"When you 're dancing o'er me love,
On the banks of my grave,
Think of Queen Sally,
Queen Sally, your maid."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Queen Sally
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 May 20 - 01:06 AM

Also sung by Cath and Phil Tyler on their 2008 album "Dumb Supper". You can listen to it on Bandcamp.

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Subject: ADD: Pretty Sally
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 May 20 - 03:45 AM

Irish American Version from New England
Sung by Asa Davis of Milton, Vermont, as learned from his father, Joel Davis, who was born in Duxbury, Vermont.
M. Olney, Collector July 21,1946
Jim Carroll


Some hundreds, some hundreds, some hundreds of years,
I courted a lady, a lady so fair;
She being a lady so lofty and high,
That upon this man she could scarce cast her eye.
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

"O Sally, O Sally, O Sally,” said he,
"I'm sorry that your love and mine can’t agree,
But I hiave no great doubt but my ruin you prove,
Except: all your hatred being turned into love.”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

"Oh, rro, I don’t hate you nor no other man,
But as ior to love you is more than I can;
Now d^rop your intentions and end all discourse
For I’ll never, never have you, excepting I’m forced.”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing toTrel-o-day.

Six mo nths being over, a story we hear.
She went for this young man who she lov-ed so dear;
She sent for this young man whom she slighted before,
For he r heart it was wounded and she knew not what for.
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing to xrel-o-day.

She semt for this young man all to her bedside.
"Is the pain in your head, love; is the pain in your side?”
"Oh, n o,” says the lady, "the pain you ain’t guessed
For the pain that torments me, love, lies in my breast.”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing to torrel-o-day.

"Oh, am I your doctor?” this young man replied,
"Or am I that young man that you once denied?”
"Oh, y«ou are the man that can kill or can cure
And without your assistance I’m ruined I’m sure.”
Lie-fel,. a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel,. a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

“0 Sally, O Sally, O Sally,” said he,
“Oh, don’t you remember how you slighted me?
When a question I’d ask you, you’d answer with scorn;
And now I’ll reward you of things past and gone.”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

“Of things past and gone, love, I hope you’ll forgive
And grant me some longer, some longer to live.”
“I never’ll forgive you which during my breath,
But I’ll dance on your grave, love, when you lie under earth!”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

“Farewell to my friends and farewell to my foes;
Farewell to this young man who caused my woes.
I would freely forgive him although he won’t me;
Ten thousand times over my follies I see.”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

“Farewell to my foes and farewell to my friends;
Farewell to this young man—God make him a man!”
Off from her fingers she took diamond rings three,
Saying, "Wear these for my sake, love, when you’re dancing over me!”
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

“Cheer up, my pretty Sally, and married we’ll be.
Then we’ll live together in sweet u-ni-tee.”
Come, all ye fair maidens, your sweethearts don’t slight;
Come, all ye that are pretty girls, for I wish you good night.
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Lie-fel, a-liddle-lary,
Sing torrel-o-day.

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Subject: Origins: Queen Sally
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 09:37 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Rich Irish Lady, A (The Fair Damsel from London; Sally and Billy; The Sailor from Dover; Pretty Sally; etc.) [Laws P9]

DESCRIPTION: Sally at first scorns a suitor, then changes her mind and calls for him. She admits that she is dying for love of him. He informs her that he intends to dance on her grave. She takes three rings from her fingers for him to wear while dancing, then dies
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1808 (journal by Hannah Lowell of Plum Island, Massachusetts)
KEYWORDS: courting dying funeral revenge sailor
FOUND IN: US(Ap,NE,MW,Ro,SE,So) Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (47 citations):
Laws P9, "A Rich Irish Lady (The Fair Damsel from London; Sally and Billy; The Sailor from Dover; Pretty Sally; etc.)"
Bronson 295, "The Brown Girl" (49 versions, but very many of these, #1, #3, #8, #13, #16, #17, (#19), #24, #25, #35, #36, #41, #44 are listed by Laws as "A Rich Irish Lady," as is #8 though it mixes with "The Death of Queen Jane"; #2, #5, #10, #15, #20, #21, #29, #32a/b, #34, #37, #38(a), #45, #47, #49 are apparently LP9 as well; #4, #6, #7, #11, #31, #38b, #39, #42 are fragments which appear more likely to be LP9; #14, #22, #23, #27 are fragments identified by Laws with LP9 though this cannot be proved; #9 (from Baring-Gould) is definitely the Child version, and #33, #48 probably; #18 is a fragment that might be part of "Glenlogie"; #26, #28 have no text; #30, #40, #43 might be either)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 295, "The Brown Girl" (5 versions: #1, #20, #26, #41, #47, of which #41 and #47 are clearly this and some of the others might be)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #79, p. 1, "The Sailor from Dover" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan6 1219, "The Sailor from Dover," Greig/Duncan8 Addenda, "Waly, Waly, Gin Love Be Bonny" (11 texts, 6 tunes)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 44, "The Brown Girl" (7 texts plus 4 fragments, 11 tunes, though the "D" fragment at least could be from "Glenlogie"; although listed as Child 295, every full text appears to be Laws P9; some of the fragments might be either) {Bronson's #17, #16, #14, #18, #42, [F not in Bronson], #36, #35, #41, #46, #22}
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, pp. 34-35, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 418-425, "Sally and Her True Love" (2 text plus 2 broadside versions, 3 tunes; the "A" text has an artificial happy ending carelessly grafted on) {Bronson's #1, #1, #19}
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 111-118, "A Brave Irish Lady" (5 rexts, 2 tunes; it appears that Laws does not consider one of these versions, probably version E, to be this song, but it certainly belongs to the same family)
Randolph 40, "Pretty Sally of London" (5 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes; it is possible that the fragment is Child #295) {A=Bronson's #44, B=#24, F=#15}
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 104-107, "Pretty Sally of London" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 40F) {Bronson's #15}
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 90, "A Brave Irish Lady" (3 texts)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 90, "A Brave Irish Lady" (3 excerpts, 3 tunes)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #177, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, titled "Pretty Sally," listed as Child #295 but properly this piece)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 27, pp. 128-130, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, listed as Child #295 but clearly this piece)
Hudson-FolkTunesFromMississippi 8, "The Rich Lady from London (The Brown Girl)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #25}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 50, "The Brown Girl" (8 texts plus 2 fragments, all versions of this rather than Child #295; 3 tunes, all entitled "The Brown Girl"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #42, #31, #23}
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 59, "The Rich Lady From Dublin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 37-38, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #45}
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 40-41, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, p. 98, "There Was a Young Lady" (1 fragment; tune on p. 389) {Bronson's #38b}
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 26, "The Brown Girl" (1 text)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 160-161, "The Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 244-2426, "The Fair Damsel from London" (1 text from the Green Mountain Songster)
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland4, pp. 285-291, "The Irish Lady, or Sally from London" (2 texts, one of them being from the Green Mountain Songster; 1 tune, lacking lyrics but said to be this piece)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 52, "Fair Lady of London" (1 text)
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 64, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune, listed as Child 295)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 29, "Fair Sally (The Brown Girl)" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version) {Bronson's #1}
Karpeles-FolkSongsFromNewfoundland 24, "Pretty Sally" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 114, "Pretty Sally" (4 texts plus mention of 2 more; Laws does not list the "B" text as belonging here, but it clearly does.)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol3, pp. 45-46, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 100-101, "Pretty Sarah" (1 text, 1 tune, which seems a little confused about who does the rejection but on the basis of lyrics belongs here rather than with Child 295)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, pp. 42-43, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #19, "The Brown Girl" (1 short text)
VaughanWilliams/Lloyd-PenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs, p. 92, "The Sailor from Dover" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #10}
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H72, pp. 374-375, "Am I the Doctor?" (1 text, 1 tune -- a version with the hatred toned down and with verses reminiscent of "Glenlogie")
Huntington-SongsTheWhalemenSang, pp. 111-112, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 678-680, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, but "B" is Laws P9)
Aston-Sailor, #70, "Sally and Billy" (1 text)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 135-136, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 146, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text)
Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN2324, "A seaman of Dover, sweet William by name"
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W Amos Abrams, "Della Adams Bostic: Sweet Singer of Old Songs," Vol. XXI, No. 3 (Sep 1973), pp. 145-146, "Sweet Sally" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Pure Coincidence -- If Not, Why Not?," Vol. XXI, No. 4 (Nov 1973), p., 179-180 "Sweet Sally" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Horton Barker: Folk Singer Supreme," Vol. XXII, No. 4 (Nov 1974), p. 152, "Pretty Sally" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Paul Robertson, "Ballads & Bytes: The Digitally Reproduced Folksong Collections of Dr. I. G. Greer and Dr. W. Amos Abrams" Vol. LV, No. 2 (Fall-Winter 2008), p. 56, "The Brown Girl" (1 partial text, a reproduction of the last page of a decorated manuscript copy; based on the reproduction, it's hard to tell if it is Child 295 or Laws P9, but it's clearly one or the other)

Roud #180
Loman D. Cansler, "Sally" (on Cansler1)
Cas Wallin, "Fine Sally" (on OldLove, DarkHoll) {cf. Bronson's #14}

Bodleian, Harding B 28(284), "The Sailor from Dover" ("There was a young sailor, from Dover he came"), unknown, no date; Harding B 25(1689), "The Sailor from Sunderland"
cf. "The Brown Girl (I)" [Child 295]
cf. "Glenlogie, or, Jean o Bethelnie" [Child 238] (lyrics in some texts)
The English Lady Gay
Fine Sally
NOTES [178 words]: Considered by some to be a variant of "The Brown Girl" (Child #295). The plot is identical except that the male and female roles are reversed. Laws declares that the two should be considered separate but related ballads. This agrees with, e.g., Cohen, Cox, and Randolph, but disagrees with Pound, Sharp, Davis, Scarborough, Flanders (naturally; she's lumped more absurd things than this) and (tentatively) Hudson, as well as (implicitly) Hubbard, Bronson and Roud. - RBW
Some of the Greig/Duncan6 texts and the Bodleian broadsides actually end happily by adding a last verse along these lines:
On hearing this the sailor began much to rue:
Said he, my dearest Sally, I've long admir'd you;
Then lay aside your grieving, for I will constant prove,
To-morrow we'll be married, and happy live, my love.
Greig/Duncan6 deduces that Greig's text is a composite of Greig/Duncan6 1219K and 1219J.
In "The Sailor from Sunderland," the sailor relents and the couple are married. - BS
I added "sailor" as a keyword because at least some versions have a sailor as a protagonist. -PJS
Last updated in version 6.1
File: LP09

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