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Lyr Req: 'They bored a hole through his left...'

rcleland@isothermal.cc.nc.us 19 Jun 97 - 07:09 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Aug 11 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 03 Aug 11 - 04:30 AM
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Subject: Fishing for the whole song
From: rcleland@isothermal.cc.nc.us
Date: 19 Jun 97 - 07:09 PM

My grandmother used to wish she could remember the song my grandfather used to sing, and now I wish I could locate someone who might know it. My grandma could only remember a snatch that went:

"They bored a hole through his left shoulder And through that hole a rope did pass..."

Anyone have a clue? I would love to know. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'They bored a hole through his left...'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 02:53 AM

From an article "Ballads and Songs" by G. L. Kittredge, in Journal of American Folk-Lore, Volume 30 (Lancaster, Pa.: American Folk-Lore Society, 1917), page 295:

YOUNG BEICHAN (Child, No. 53).

"Young Bakeman" was reprinted by Barry in 1905 from a Coverly broadside (Boston, early nineteenth century; JAFL 18:209-211). This same version occurs in two American broadsides of the first part of the nineteenth century in the Harvard College Library, — (1) "Sold, wholesale and retail, by L. Deming, No. 62, Hanover Street," Boston;*1 (2) "Printed and sold at No. 26, High Street, Providence," R.I.*2 It is found also in "The Forget Me Not Songster" (New York, Nans & Cornish [about 1840]), pp. 171-174, from which Belden reprinted it in "Modern Philology," 2:301-305.*3

A version in a much more popular tone (resembling Child's L) has been found in oral circulation in this country, and has been several times published: see JAFL 20:251-252 (Miss Pettit); 22:64-65 (Beatty); 26:353 (Pound: cf. 27:59); 28:149-151 (Perrow); Cox, 46:20, 22; Wyman and Brockway, "Lonesome Tunes," 1:5861 (with music). This version is like the regular English broadside (Child's L)*4 in some points in which both differ from A and B, but cannot (at least in the forms collected by Pound, Perrow, and Cox) be derived from any broadside that I have seen. The test is the boring of the hero's shoulder (as in Child's A, B, D, E, H, I, N), which has disappeared from the broadside version, but is retained in Pound, Perrow, and Cox. Miss Pound's text reads, —
    They bored a hole through his left shoulder
    And bound him fast unto a tree
    And gave him nothing but bread and water.
    Bread and water once a day.*5
Perrow has, —
    They bored a hole in his left shoulder
    And nailed him down unto a tree
    And gave him nothing but bread and water
    And bread and water but once a day.*6
Cox, —
    They bored a hole through his left shoulder,
    And through the same a rope did tie,
    They made him load cold calks of iron,
    Till he took sick and like to a died.*7
The regular broadside text reads (with variations), —
    All in the prison there grew a tree,
    Oh! there it grew so stout and strong,
    Where he was chained by the middle,
    Until his life was almost gone.*8
And this turn re-appears in the version now in oral circulation in England: see Kidson, "Traditional Tunes," pp. 32-36; Broadwood and Fuller Maitland, "English County Songs," pp. 62-63; Sharp and Marson, "Folk Songs from Somerset," No. 65,3:28_3i; "Journal of Folk-Song Society," 1:240-241; 3:192-200; Sharp, "One Hundred English Folksongs," No. 6, pp. 17-19. Broadwood and Reynardson's No. 22 ("Sussex Songs," p. 43) is a fragment. For Scotland, see Gavin Greig," Folk-Songs of the North-East," lxxviii (not the broadside).

The Harvard College Library has the following broadsides of "Lord Bateman," all substantially identical in text: —

25242.2, fol. 144 (Pitts); 25242.4, i, 196 (J. Catnach, = 25242.10.5, fol. 3); same, i, 208 (no imprint); 25242.17, iii, 49 (J. Kendrew, York); same, iii, 143 (Forth, Pocklington); iv, 19 (no imprint); vi, 137 (Bebbington, Manchester, No. 31, = ix, 31); Child Broadsides (H. Such, No. 472); 25242.18, No. 15 (R. Evans, Chester); Child MSS., xxiii, 53 (E.Hodges;*9 Catnach); also an eighteenth-century chapbook, "A Favourite Garland" (25276.43.58, No. 17: Preston, E. Sergent), which contains "Young Beckman" in a text resembling that of the broadsides. Founded on the broadside version is "The grand serio-comic opera of Lord Bateman, and his Sophia. By J. H. S.*10 late J. H. P. (Jas. Rogers, Middle Hill Press, 1863).

Further American references are Shearin and Coombs, p. 7; Pound, p. 9; F. C. Brown, p. 9; Virginia Folk-Lore Society, Bulletin, No. 2, p. 4; No. 3, p. 3; No. 5, p. 6; JAFL 22:78; 27:61-62; 28:200-202; Cox, 45:160 (JAFL 29:400); "Berea Quarterly," October, 1915 (18:12). Professor G. L. Hamilton has called my attention to the fragments in Edward Eggleston's "Transit of Civilization" (New York, 1901), pp. 137-138 (cf. p. 119). The ballad was printed as a child's book some forty years ago by McLoughlin Brothers, New York, the famous publishers of picture-books in colors.

"The Turkish Lady" sometimes appears as the title or sub-title of "Young Beichan." There is, however, another ballad (or song) called "The Turkish Lady,"— in a cheap literary style, — which has often been printed, and has obtained some oral currency. It tells substantially the same tale, but briefly, and names no names.

Barry has reprinted this "Turkish Lady" (JAFL 23:449-451) from "The Forget Me Not Songster" (New York, Nafis & Cornish), pp. 169-170 (where it immediately precedes "Lord Bakeman"). It occurs also in "The Forget Me Not Songster" (Philadelphia and New York, Turner & Fisher), pp. 248-249, and in the "Washington Songster" (same publishers), pp. 131-132 (Brown University, Harris Collection).

"The Turkish Lady" may be found in an eighteenth-century chapbook, "Jockie to the Fair" (etc.), in the Boswell collection, 28, No. 43, and 29, No. 41 (Harvard College Library). It begins, "You virgins all I pray draw near;" and ends, "By this you see what love can do." See also the following broadsides in the same library: Child Broadsides, 25242.5.6, No. 3 (Pitts, early nineteenth century); 25242.5.7, p. 82 (early nineteenth century; no imprint); 25242.10.5, fol. 119 ("The Turkish Rover," a slip; "Swindells, Printer"); 25242.5.13 F (282) (Devonport, Elias Keys, two editions). There is a copy in Kinloch's MSS., 1:263-266; 5:53-56 ("The Turkish Lady and English Slave"), which Child transcribed in full, but afterwards rejected (Child MSS., xxiii, 53, article 4). Child notes (ibid.) that Kinloch's version is nearly the same as that in Logan, "A Pedlar's Pack," pp. 11-18 (from a garland of 1782), and that there is a text from singing in Christie's "Traditional Ballad Airs," 1:246-247.*11 For a small fragment (with tune) see "Journal of the Folk-Song Society," 1:113. Compare Campbell's poem, "The Turkish Lady" ("Poetical Works," 1828, 2:133-135).


*1 In lot No. 130. Deming was at 62 Hanover Street from 1832 to 1836.

*2• 25242.5.13 F (281).

*3 Belden's copy of the book lacked the title-page. The running heading of The Forget Me Not Songster is "Popular Songs."

*4 See Child, 1:455, 476-477; 2:508-509; 3:507; 5:220.

5* "Indiana MS. book of ballads. Property of Edna Fulton, Lincoln," Neb. "Most of the pieces in the book were entered before the Civil War."

*6 Stanza 3, JAFL 28:150 ("From North Carolina; mountain whites; MS. lent E. N. Caldwell; 1913").

*7 Stanza 3, West Virginia School Journal and Educator, 46:20. This stanza is missing in the variants collected by Miss Pettit (JAFL 20:251-252), Beatty (22:64-65), and Miss Wyman (Lonesome Tunes, I:58-61). So also in the text in Burne and Jackson, Shropshire Folk Lore, pp. 547-548.

*8 Bebbington, Manchester, No. 31.

*9 Also in Child Broadsides (25242.5.6, No. 7).

*10 J. H. Scourfield.

*11 See also Child's Ballads, I:463


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'They bored a hole through his left...'
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:30 AM

This is Mudcat at it's very best. Thank you for a wonderful post


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Mudcat time: 25 April 10:54 AM EDT

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