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Penguin: The Outlandish Knight

DigiTrad:
FALSE SIR JOHN
FALSE SIR JOHN 2
LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT
LADY ISOBEL AND THE ELF KNIGHT
OUTLANDISH KNIGHT
THE KING O' SPAIN'S DAUGHTER
THE LONELY WILLOW TREE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Kentucky version of Lady Isabel (8)
Seeger/Outlandish Knight version? (39)
Lyr Req: Castle by the Sea (Lena Bourne Fish) (8)
meaning: 'beechen gold' (from False Lover John) (4)
Lyr Req: charlotte renals' a man from the north #4 (9)
(origins) Origins/Authenticity:Lonely Willow Tree (Child #4) (14)
Version of Lady Isabel and Elf Knight (6)
Tune Req: Outlandish Knight (Fred Jordan) (6)
Lyr Req: Outlandish Knight (Cyril Tawney) (10)
question on Outlandish Knight (82)
'Italian' Lady Isobel (6)
Lyr Add: The False Young Sailor (10)
Chords: Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Outlandish Knight (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)


Alan of Australia 01 Jul 00 - 09:51 PM
Amergin 01 Jul 00 - 09:54 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 00 - 10:02 PM
bob jr 01 Jul 00 - 10:29 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Jul 00 - 09:21 AM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Jul 00 - 11:56 PM
Wolfgang 11 Jul 00 - 04:30 AM
Susan of DT 11 Jul 00 - 05:32 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jun 01 - 10:08 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 05 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,DHL 21 Jan 05 - 03:37 PM
Goose Gander 23 Aug 08 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Hilary 07 Feb 11 - 09:05 AM
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Subject: add: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight ^^
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 09:51 PM

G'day,
From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of The Outlandish Knight (Child #4) can be found here.

THE OUTLANDISH KNIGHT

'An outlandish knight from the north land came,
And he came wooing of me;
And he told me he'd take me to that northern land,
And there he would marry me.'

'Well, go and get me some of your father's gold,
And some of your mother's fee,
And two of the very best stable steeds,
Where there stand thirty and three.'

She borrowed some of her father's gold,
And some of her mother's fee,
And away they did go to the stable door,
Where horses stood thirty and three.

She mounted on her lilywhite horse,
And he upon the grey,
And away they did ride to the fair river side,
Three hours before it was day.

He says: 'Unlight, my little Polly,
Unlight, unlight,' cries he,
'For six pretty maids I've drowned here before,
And the seventh thou art to be.

'Pull off, pull off your silken gown,
And deliver it unto me,
For I think it's too fine and much too gay
To rot in the salt water sea.'

She said: 'Go get a sickle to crop the thistle
That grows beside the brim,
That it may not mingle with my curly locks,
Nor harm my lilywhite skin.'

So he got a sickle to crop the thistle,
That grew beside the brim,
She cached him around the middle so small,
And tumbled him into the stream.

Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man,
Lie there instead of me,
For six pretty maidens thou has drowned here before,
And the seventh has drowned thee.'

Then she mounted on her lilywhite horse,
And she did ride away,
And she arrived at her father's stable door
Three hours before it was day.

Now the parrot being in the window so high,
A-hearing the lady, he did say:
I'm afraid that some ruffian have led you astray,
That you've tarried so long away.'

Don't prittle, don't prattle, my pretty Polly,
Nor tell no tales of me,
And your cage shall be of the glittering gold,
And your perch of the best ivory.'

Now the master being in the bedroom so high,
A-hearing the parrot he did say:
What's the matter with you, my pretty Polly,
You're prattling so long before day?'

There come an old cat on top of my cage,
To take my sweet life away.
I was just calling on my young mistress
To drive that old puss away.'

Sung by Mr Hilton, South Walsham, Norfolk (R.V.W. 1908)

Click here for another version. Also search the DT for #4.

Previous song: One Night As I Lay On My Bed.
Next song: T'Owd Yowe Wi' One Horn.


Cheers,
Alan

^^


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Amergin
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 09:54 PM

Cool, but don't let the walnut catch you posting new topics without labelling them.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 10:02 PM

Ah, but the harvester has seen and harvested. He's up to page 81 of 108. Outstanding, Alan!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: bob jr
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 10:29 PM

um i was hoping for something bout penquins....


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 09:21 AM

Thanks Alan. I never tire of singing (a version) of this. Other than "The House Carpenter" it may be the only song that's stayed on my repertoire's "A" list from the age of 15 to today.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 11:56 PM

From the notes to the Penguin Book (1959):

"This ballad has many titles.  Scholars know it as Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight or May Colvin, but An Outlandish Rover, The Highway Robber, The Old Beau are among titles preferred by folk singers.  Child...noted it as one of the most widespread of ballads, with relatives in Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands (as Halewijn), and elsewhere, as far afield as Australia.  It is also among the most persistent, being not infrequently sung today.  Some scholars see in it traces of the Bluebeard story, others believe it may be an offshoot of the legend of Judith and Holofernes.  Perhaps more plausible is the theory that the ballad is descended from a folk-tale about a malevolent water-spirit who transforms himself into a knight and marries a girl with the intention of carrying her off to his watery home.  The genial incident of the dialogue with the parrot (borrowed from Oriental tradition?) was isolated and made into a comic stage song, called Tell-Tale Polly (c. 1860).
Within this century, besides our Norfolk set, versions have been printed from Westmoreland (FSJ vol.II, p.282), Yorkshire (three versions, FSJ vol.II, pp. 282-3), Herefordshire (FSJ vol.IV, p.122), Hertfordshire (FSJ vol.IV, p.118), Sussex (FSJ vol.IV, p.121), Wiltshire (Folk Songs of the Upper Thames, ed. A. Williams, 1923; pp.159-161), and Somerset (four versions, FSJ vol.IV, pp.119-121); Sharp reported that he had found 23 sets of it in that county), Devon (FSJ vol.IV, p.119) and Cornwall (FSJ vol.IV, pp.116-117).  A fragmentary version in Manx is printed in FSJ vol.VII, p.301)."  -R.V.W./A.L.L.

This version was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams from Mr. Hilton of South Walsham, Norfolk, in 1908.  It was first published in the Folk Song Journal, vol. IV, p. 123.

Child #4

@courting @murder @animal @trick @seduction @talkbird

Other versions on the DT:

False Sir John  (May Colvin)

False Sir John (2)  (May Colven: Child's version C)

The King o'Spain's Daughter

Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight  (Child A)

Lady Isobel and the Elf Knight   There is a note from Sandy Paton regarding the provenance of this version,  here.

The Lonely Willow Tree

The Outlandish Knight

In the Forum:

Le Tueur de Femmes

The Outlandish Knight  A discussion, largely of Martin Carthy's recorded version.

There is an entry at the Traditional Ballad Index:  Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight

As might be expected, there are a lot of broadside versions of this song at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.  Here is a selection:

The Outlandish Knight   Printed and Sold by H.F. Sefton, 33, Broad Street, Worcester 18(?)

The Outlandish Knight   Printed by J. Catnach, 2, Monmouth-court. Sold by Marshall, Bristol between 1813 and 1838

The Outlandish Knight   Swindells, A. (Manchester) between 1796 and 1853

The Outlandish Knight   Wilson, J. (Bideford)

The Outlandish Knight   Pitts Printer Wholesale Toy & Marble warehouse 6, Great st, Andrew street 7 dials between 1819 and 1844

Old Beau's Courtship    Harkness, J. (Preston) between 1840 and 1866

In Folk Song in England (1967) A. L. Lloyd refers to Lajos Vargyas' Researches into the Medieval History of Folk Ballad (Budapest, 1967), in which Vargyas uses iconography, amongst other things, to trace this ballad back to a putative Central Asian origin.  Although a good pinch of salt should probably be taken, it's hard to resist Lloyd's comment:

"If Vargyas is right, at least some vital motifs of our common European ballad derive from imaginings vastly remote from us in time and space, from the anxious dreams of prehistoric herdsmen on the wild steppes between the Tienshan and the Altai mountains of western Mongolia."

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 04:30 AM

Malcolm,
I use this thread for a BIG thank you though I could have used many other threads. Your additions to the Penguin threads are invaluable.
Sometimes I dream of a Mudcat that has all notes and additions to one song in a single thread with all the posts of no value beyond the day (like the one I'm writing right now) fading away soft(ware)ly after about two weeks.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Susan of DT
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 05:32 AM

Joe - did you get all of these, or do you want me to grab some?


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:08 PM

A new posting of another set of this song to the Forum reminds me that the links I gave here last year here need to be updated.  I add only references to stable sites that take the trouble to acknowledge their sources, though it has to be said that some of the examples here at the Mudcat, referred to above, are given with no information at all as to what tune, if any, they might have been sung to, and no information at all as to where they might have come from.

At the   Max Hunter Folk Song Collection  (all with full texts, notation and sound files:

Little Billy  As sung by Odis Bird in Marshall, Arkansas on August 6, 1958
Lovin' Polly  As sung by Mrs. Allie Long Parker in Eureka Springs, AR on March 27, 1958
Willie Came Over The Main Wide Ocean  As sung by Mr. Fred High in High, Arkansas on February 11, 1959
Pretty Polly  As sung by Donia Cooper in West Fork, Arkansas on August 19,1959

At Lesley Nelson's  Folk Music  site:

The Outlandish Knight  With tune; from Cecil Sharp's One Hundred English Folksongs.  In that book (which was published as a resource for amateur and professional "art music" singers, not as a reference book), Sharp doesn't identify his source[s], saying only "I have recorded several fairly complete sets of words, from which that given in this book has been compiled."  Elsewhere, however, he does name sources; the tune for this one came from Joseph Laver of Bridgwater, Somerset, in 1907, and the collated text is not significantly different from Mr. Laver's.
The Willow Tree (American Version)  With tune; from The Colonial and Revolution Songbook (McNeil, 1996) : no prior source is quoted, though apparantly the authors believe their set to be 17th century American, which seems unlikely on the face of it.
Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight  Child's versions A-F.  (Texts only).

The new posting to the Forum is  The False Young Sailor;  So far, no source or tune has been mentioned, but perhaps we'll get those later.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 03:08 AM

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight [Child 4]

DESCRIPTION: A knight woos a lady. He will marry her if she runs away with him. He leads her to the seashore and threatens to drown/kill her as he has killed others before. She makes him turn his back and kills him instead. She bribes her parrot to keep her secret
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: elopement murder seduction bird lie
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland) US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So,SW) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland Australia; analogues in Poland, Germany, France, Scandinavia, Netherlands
REFERENCES (42 citations):
Child 4, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (8 texts)
Bronson 4, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (144 versions plus 2 in addenda)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp.14-34, "The False-Hearted Knight" (8 texts plus a fragment, 6 tunes; the "B" text is probably mixed as it starts with first person verses from the false knight) {Bronson's #50, #22, #35, #81, #5, #13}
Belden, pp. 5-16, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (8 texts plus variants)
Randolph 2, "Pretty Polly Ann" (4 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #121, C=#86, E=#131}
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 16-18, "Pretty Polly Ann" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 2A) {Bronson's #121}
Eddy 2, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (4 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #49, #89}
Gardner/Chickering 1, "Lady Isabe and the Elf-Knightl" (1 text plus a fragment and mention of 1 more, 1 tune) {Bronson's #92}
Flanders/Brown, pp. 190-192, "The Outlandish Knight" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #130}
Flanders/Olney, pp. 4-7, "The False-Hearted Knight"; pp. 109-111, "The Castle by the Sea"; pp. 129-131, "The Outlandish Knight" (3 texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #138 ,#57, #141}
Davis-Ballads 3, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (17 texts plus 2 fragments, 7 tunes entitled 'Pretty Polly," "The Nine King's Daughters," "The Seven King's Daughters," "The False-Hearted Knight," "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight"; 9 more versions mentioned in Appendix A) { {Bronson's #103, #146, #23, #104, #2, #19, #24}
Davis-More 4, pp. 16-25, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (3 texts, including one reconstructed, 2 tunes)
BrownII 2, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (7 texts)
Chappell-FSRA 2, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (2 fragments)
Hudson 1, pp. 61-66, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (3 texts plus a fragment)
Brewster 3, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 2-9, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (4 texts plus 3 fragments, 4 tunes) {Bronson's #74, #44, #42, #43}
Greenleaf/Mansfield 1, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (3 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #73}
Leach, pp. 53-59, ""Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (3 texts)
Wyman-Brockway I, p. 82, "Six Kings Daughters" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #109}
McNeil-SFB2, pp. 143-145, "The Seventh Sister" (1 text, 1 tune)
OBB 8, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight"; 10, "May Colvin" (2 texts)
Friedman, p. 10, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (2 texts)
Warner 41, "The Castle by the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
PBB 12, "Lady Isobel and the Elf-Knight" (1 text)
Sharp-100E 11, "The Outlandish Knight" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #28a}
Niles 4, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (3 texts, 2 tunes) {A=Bronson's#96}
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 4, "The Outlandish Knight (Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (1 text, 1 tune, somewhat edited and expanded) {Bronson's #99}
Sandburg, pp. 60-61, "Pretty Polly" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #64}
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 80-81, "The Outlandish Knight" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #39, though Bronson has a different title and no text}
SHenry H163, pp. 413-414, "The King o' Spain's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 8, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #44}
Hodgart, p. 28 ,"Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (1 text)
DBuchan 42, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (1 text)
TBB 32, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (1 text)
JHCox 1, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (9 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #126}
JHCoxIIA, #IA-B, pp. 5-9, "The False Sir John," "Six Kings' Daughters (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #128, #127}
MacSeegTrav 2, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 188, "Lady Isabel And The Elf Knight" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 23-26, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" (2 texts)
BBI, ZN975, "Go fetch me some of your father's gold" (said to be combined from several Child ballads)
DT 4, OUTKNGHT* ELFKNGHT* WILLWTRE* KNGSPAIN* FLSESIRJ

Roud #21
RECORDINGS:
Jumbo Brightwell, "The False-Hearted Knight" (on Lomax41, LomaxCD1741)
Fred Jordan, "The Outlandish Knight (Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight)" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1) (on FJordan01, HiddenE)
Sam Larner, "The Outlandish Knight" (on SLarner01)
Jean Ritchie, "False Sir John" (on JRitchie01) {Bronson's #102{
ALTERNATE TITLES:
False Sir John
King of Spain's Daughter
Lady Ishbel and Her Parrot
King William's Son
The Courting of Aramalee
May Colvin
An Outlandish Rover
The Highway Robber
The Old Beau
Halewijn
The Seventh King's Daughter
Pretty Cold Rain
Sweet William
The Six Fair Maids
Notes: Many theories have been offered as to the origin of this ballad (closely connected with the Franko-Dutch tale of Halwijn). The most widely known is Bugge's theory that this is a corrupt form of the tale of Judith, found in the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books of the Bible.
It should be noted, however, that the only actual parallel between Judith and Lady Isabel is that both end with the bad guy being killed by the heroine.
A comprehensive study of the origins of this piece is offered by Holger Olof Nygard in "Ballad Source Study: Child Ballad No. 4 as Exemplar" (first printed in the Journal of American Folklore, LXV, 1952; see now MacEdward Leach and Tristram P. Coffin, eds, The Critics and the Ballad, pp. 189- 203). Nygard concludes that none of the theories of origin is accurate, and I heartily agree. This piece stands on its own. - RBW
MacColl & Seeger cite a German broadside, c. 1550. - PJS
Of course, most of the alleged parallels to this piece (few of which are *truly* parallel) are in German and Scandinavian literature. - RBW
File: C004

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: GUEST,DHL
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 03:37 PM

Norma Waterson and Nick Jones also have recorded versions of this song.


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: Goose Gander
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 01:29 PM

Lady Isabel and the Elfin Knight sung by Betty Smith at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, 10/30/76. Click on the button that says 'access this item' to hear the soundfile.

From the Digital Library of Appalachia


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Outlandish Knight
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 09:05 AM

Does anyone know the name of a German version? I would love to learn one.


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