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Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?

DigiTrad:
FATTY GROVES
LORD BANNER
MATTIE GROVES


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Catrin 30 Aug 00 - 11:31 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Aug 00 - 11:36 AM
Catrin 30 Aug 00 - 11:40 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Aug 00 - 11:43 AM
sophocleese 30 Aug 00 - 11:48 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Aug 00 - 11:53 AM
AndyG 30 Aug 00 - 11:53 AM
MMario 30 Aug 00 - 11:55 AM
Kim C 30 Aug 00 - 11:57 AM
Catrin 30 Aug 00 - 11:59 AM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 00 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Russ 30 Aug 00 - 12:03 PM
AndyG 30 Aug 00 - 12:05 PM
Jon W. 30 Aug 00 - 12:05 PM
Catrin 30 Aug 00 - 12:06 PM
catspaw49 30 Aug 00 - 12:14 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Aug 00 - 12:15 PM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 00 - 12:17 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Aug 00 - 12:18 PM
Catrin 30 Aug 00 - 12:20 PM
Jeri 30 Aug 00 - 12:25 PM
IanC 30 Aug 00 - 12:32 PM
catspaw49 30 Aug 00 - 12:36 PM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 00 - 01:02 PM
Jacob B 30 Aug 00 - 01:44 PM
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Ely 30 Aug 00 - 03:24 PM
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Llanfair 30 Aug 00 - 06:51 PM
gillymor 30 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM
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Troll 30 Aug 00 - 11:27 PM
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Rana who SHOULD be working 31 Aug 00 - 10:23 AM
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Subject: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:31 AM

I was about to nominate Matty Groves as a candidate for my favourite 'badman' song in that thread. However, I realised that it is difficult to pinpoint who IS the baddy in this one. Is it:-

a) Matty Groves - for sleeping with a married woman?
b) Lord Donald's wife for comitting adultary?
c) The little page for telling on them?
d) Lord Donald for murdering them both?
e) All of the above

I have had many interesting discussions with friends about this and opinions seem to differ depending on moral beliefs, historical knowledge and personal taste (to name but a few).

I know there are about a million different versions to this song but the story always seems to be the same - or is it?

I would love to hear mudcatters views on this.

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:36 AM

I think it is the woman for enticing him, and the page for being a crawly little sneak who would probably snitch on his own mother if he thought it would get him on in life.. I bet his name is Gavin....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:40 AM

Yeah LTS, I agree with both of those, but MG COULD have said no, couldn't he?


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:43 AM

Ah but he was a bloke, men are notorious for being led astray at the drop of a consonant..... Weak willed and fickle, that's what he was.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: sophocleese
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:48 AM

I always wondered about a code of honour that suggested it was ungentlemanly to kill a naked, unarmed man but all right to kill an unarmed woman. They were all helpless victims of a brutal society.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:53 AM

Male nudity is something that has always been considered scary - notice that the picture of the female nude is considered art, but the male nude is pornography. The Scots used this to great effect, as can be seen in the film 'Braveheart' although I understand that, like Kevin Costner in 'Robin, prince of thieves', Mel Gibson had a 'stunt bum' do those scenes. Funny that, cos Kevin did a full nudey bit in 'Dances with wolves'......

LTS, who tries to make a study of male nudity, purely in the interests of research.....


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: AndyG
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:53 AM

Let's see,

Matty doesn't actually have many choices does he ? It's sort of;
"Hey, Big Boy, Do what I want or I'll use my social status to make your life unpleasant".
Followed by;
"What the F***? Who the F*** are YOU? Get up and die like a man!"

Lord Donald's Wife abuses power but if she's guilty of adultery then so is Matty.

Lady Donald's Husband over-reacts a bit granted but I'm not sure he'd want his private inadequacies dragged though the courts.

The Page. Well he's only doing his job you know. I mean a sworn vassal and all that. Can't go letting the side down can he?

All in all I think the villain is society for giving people holidays. It wouldn't have happened if Matty had been bringing the yearlings home with the boss instead of gallivanting about and hanging out round churches.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: MMario
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:55 AM

1)- as stated, Matty was a man - so it wasn't his fault.

2)- Lady Donald - who can blame her? Lord Donald's off with his men-at arms and/or a flock of sheep (depends on the version) but where-ever he is he isn't home in bed with her.

3) - Lord Donald - hey, he was practicing his right to trial as lord of the land - couldn't be his fault

4) - it was the snively little page. If he'd kept his yap shut, Lady Donald could have presented Lord Donald with a whole string of children who looked nothing like him and everyone would have been happy.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Kim C
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:57 AM

All of them.

Now, I don't know that the woman necessarily enticed Matty. He's the one who says, See the fair one dressed in white? Although she is Lord Daniel's wife, I'll be with her tonight. He already had his mind made up.

It's a tragedy all the way around.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:59 AM

It will never be said in fair England I slew a naked man...

D'you know sophoclese, it might sound surprising (and a bit embarrassing too) but I'd never noticed that contradiction - got me flummoxed that, a strange moral code indeed from a time about which I know little.

But 'Helpless victims' sounds a bit deterministic or something - not every member of that society would have made the decision to murder them both, surely. He could have (as in many songs) ran off to seek another life or even killed himself with his own broadsword (it happens) or he might have forgiven them and they both lived happily ever after (that doesn't happen)....

All this IMHO

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:01 PM

"they were all helpless victims of a brutal society"

Right on, Sophocleese!

However, we got a great folksong out of it. The only individual I would seriously censure in this tale, given the standards of the time and place in which it is set, is the little page. He should have kept his big mouth shut, and no one would have been the worse for it. I bet Lord Arlen had a few dalliances here and there on his looting and pillaging missions far afield, or his visits to the King's Court, or whatever. Of course, the double standard in those days was pretty extreme.

It's understandable that Lady Arlen would have been attracted to Matty Groves, and she probably felt rather like a bird in a gilded cage, longing for a taste of freedom.

It's totally understandable that Matty would fall prey to her charms...most men would have.

It's totally understandable that Lord Arlen would kill Matty and/or his wife upon returning...given the standards of the time, which were honour-bound and brutal in the extreme.

If this had been a Japanese tale it would have ended up equally tragically.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:03 PM

Who is the baddy? Depends upon your version and your personal perspective.

Matty Groves in all its incarnations is one of my favorite ballads. One of the things I love about Matty Groves is that every version tells basically the same story, but presents the "psychology" in a different way. There seems to be a version for my every mood. Some versions present Matty as the "victim" of a strong willed woman's seductive wiles. Doc Watson's version has Matty smugly predicting that "Although she is Lord Daniel's wife, she'll be with me tonight," but Christy Moore's version has Little Musgrave proclaiming to Lady Barnard that "I have loved you dear lady, for long and many a day". The little page is always the informant but sometimes it seems to be for spite and sometimes it seems to be for honor ("Although I am a lady's page, I am Lord Barnard's man.") In most versions the cuckolded lord is eager for confrontation and revenge, but Ray Fisher sings a version in which he tries to avoid it. He makes as much noise as possible marching to the castle and upon reaching the courtyard proclaims that "He whose in bed wi another man's wife had best be on his way." When confronted Matty is sometimes a wiseass and sometimes terrified. After the duel, sometimes the lord is happy at the disposal of adulterous rubbish and sometimes he deeply regrets the course of action he took.

It is Roshomon in ballad form.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: AndyG
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:05 PM

I've always understood that naked man in this usage meant unarmed and/or unarmoured. Hence LD then gives Matty a sword.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Jon W.
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:05 PM

Kim, that may not necessarily be the sequence in other versions of the song. In the one I know best, he's just in church to ogle the ladies but Lord Barnard's wife makes the first move. Not to say that Little Musgrave put up any hint of resistance - he went into the situation with both eyes open.

The only thing bad about this song is that there were two people left standing at the end. Lord Barnard should have hung the page for betraying his mistress and then fallen on his sword in grief over killing his wife. Now that would have been a worthy ballad. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:06 PM

Kim C - different versions - in the one I know she 'casts her eyes about/ and there she spies little Matty Groves wolking in the crowd/ then up to him she did go /as quick as e'er she might..... (and propositions him - come to bed with me - or words of that effect)


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:14 PM

I'm surprised you all have missed the complicity in all of this by Matty's harlot of a sister, Shady Groves.

....Sorry....Go on with your discussion........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:15 PM

1. Matty was just going to church to hear the gospel, like any good, god-fearing person, in the days when holidays were not your bank holiday beanfeast, but a day to spend in church = the origin of holiday is Holy Day..... This was the era when you were fined for not going to church, if your station required you to be there. Churchwardens could come and look for you and drag you to the pillory if you couldn't come up with a good reason (like being dead!) for not attending divine service - which is what the 'gospel for to hear' would indicate. Churchwardens these days are a little more lenient. I wait until your favourite TV programme is on before phone you up.....

2. He was just looking around a little light conversation, maybe just wanting to ask Mrs Jones about her Berts' lumbago, or see if there was a new cobbler in town..... when this woman he identifies as Lady Donald approaches him and invites him home.... she may have needed a jar unscrewed, or a spider removed from the bedroom.... who can say.

3 He did try to remind her that she was married - as the single person, he would have been reasonably OK, if it were Lord Donald, it would have been more than OK, it was sort of expected, but because she was a woman, she gets the ultimate punishment, a clear case of sexism and male nepotism. She knew that the punishment would be more severe for her, but still she enticed him in.

4. That servant, he didn't have to go sneaking round and spying, he could have turned a blind eye - he must have been a slimy bit of work to have been doing his job when the boss wasn't around. Think of the blackmail possibilities he could have had, wasted. And I hope he got something nasty from swimming in the broad broad stream without his boots on.

And after all that, the silly woman STILL insists that he is better than her husband.... all she had to do was fake it, and she'd have been alright!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:17 PM

There's a song there, Spaw!


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:18 PM

I bet that sneaky page was really Lord Donalds' catamite, that's why he did it - he wanted her dead so he could have Lord Donald to himself - after all, who would LD turn to in his grief but the trusty page who warned him of the cuckolding......

LTS


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:20 PM

What a WONDERFUL discussion - I even stayed fifteen minutes late at work because of it!

Anyway - gotta go now, I'll check in when I get home

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:25 PM

Catspaw, you're disgusting. Now, I realize that Matty and Shady must be related because they have the same damned tune. (Which is eating away my brain as we speak.)

Matty Groves, my little love,
Matty Groves my dearie
Come home with me, my husbands gone,
And you have naught to fear.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: IanC
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:32 PM

I never really thought of anyone as "to blame". Seems to me its a ballad with something of the "inevitable tragic sequence" to it. Does anybody have to be the baddy? Aren't we all just human?


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 12:36 PM

Well Ian, most of us are....except for Conrad Bladey #1 Super Pissant. I'm not sure he's even a life form.

Sorry Jeri....hehehheehehehehehehehehe

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 01:02 PM

Then there's Conrad Black...Canada's answer to Darth Vader. His humanity is questionable.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Jacob B
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 01:44 PM

I've heard an American version in which the page is clearly the baddy, because he's a habitual traitor. The page in this version is identified as being Robert Ford (the member of the James Gang who shot Jesse James in the back.)


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Kim C
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 01:46 PM

Okey dokey. In the Norman Blake version that I have, Matty decides he's going to have Lord Daniel's wife. She is not necessarily a seductress in this instance but she doesn't appear to put up too much of a protest. In the end, Lord Daniel not only kills his lady and Matty, but also himself. The lady and Matty are buried together with Lord Daniel at their feet.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Ely
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 03:24 PM

Oh, the whole situation was pathetic.

The wife shouldn't have been looking for boys on the side, but she was probably 17 and married to the 55-year-old of her parents' choosing (not that I object to 55-year-olds, but I'm sure my heart wouldn't be in the marriage, either, if I'd been pawned off for political alliances). On the other hand, I don't think I would risk my head for it. I'm told life is much more dramatic when you're 17, but I don't remember.

Matty was headed to church, but he knew he was doing wrong--he asked her if the horn wasn't Lord Arlen's (Donald's, whatever your version calls him), so he was clearly on edge. My dad would call this "natural selection"--if you're dumb enough to get caught sleeping with somebody else's wife, your genes probably won't be much missed.

Lord Arlen/Donald/etc. got kind of overexcited. Wives as possessions is certainly not my favorite approach to marriage, but I can't do much about 400-year-old social views. I always thought that the fact that he was pained enough by her infidelity to kill himself, too, was rather remarkable.

In short, I don't know. I don't really like any of them.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 04:42 PM

OK, for what it's worth I think there's a kind of consensus arising here - which is that the real 'baddy' (if indeed we do have to use such a term) is the snivelling snot faced page. If it weren't for him, nobody would have been any the wiser and life would have continued as normal.

but then.............


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Ely
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 04:51 PM

Well, I'd be inclined to think that, as a servant of the lord, the page was probably under a lot of pressure to report everything. If Lord XX found out later that stuff had been going on and the page hadn't reported it, the page would certainly have lost his head and it could have affected the rest of his family adversely, too--lords were big on *seriously* heavy fines and things of that nature. While I certainly think it was underhanded, he might have felt he had no choice. And he was probably a young man (if Matty can use it as an excuse, why shouldn't the page?).

I don't admire this kind of society but it was there anyway. I don't blame any one of them in particular.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 04:52 PM

One good guy in the whole mess -- the daring member of the Lord's platoon of merry men who blew his horn to warn the sleeping(?) couple of the Lord's approach. Seems to me he did that at some risk to his own well-being. All the rest of the cast were clearly self-indulgent.

The Lord, by the way, in the version Paul Clayton collated from the singing of Boyd Bolling and Finlay Adams (Wise County, Virginia), was "off in some foreign country learning the tailor's trade." Hence, it would appear that the entire tragedy stemmed ultimately from the woeful condition of Scotland's impoverished nobility. Up the rebels!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Llanfair
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 06:51 PM

I appear to be voting with the majority, here, as the villain is definitely the brown-nosed page.
Now, Liz, where on earth do you get this notion that the naked male form is scary? Have you had some bad experiences, dear? would you like to share them with us?(Apologies for slipping into Social Worker mode, I'm better now) How on earth can anyone take all those dangly bits seriously?
'Course if they are not dangling, it's a different story, but SCARY? Never!!!!!
Bron.
Perhaps it's me? Perhaps being a serial monogamist has affected my perception...............Nah!!!!


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: gillymor
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM

I think we should all resolve to henceforth sing the fifth verse like this:
And a snivelling snotfaced, habitually traitorous, crawly, little sneak of a page named Gavin,
Hearing what was said,
Swore that Lord Donald he would know,
Before the sun would set.

Seriously though, this is an excellent question Catrin. A whole spectrum of human foibles on display here.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 07:42 PM

LOL Frankee! If Simon Nicol read this thread I bet he'd add this version to Fairport's next performance! (He usually contents himself with e.g.

How do you like my feather bed and how do you like my sheets
How do you like my curtains that I bought in Ikea last week)

Aside to Frankee: No tape yet then?

Good thread, Catrin!

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Troll
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:27 PM

I take exception to the Page being blamed
Under the rules of fealty he was duty bound to inform his Lord of anything that was going on while the Lord was gone
Not to do so would not only have endangered his job and life, but his very soul would have been in jeapordy. The oath of fealty was a bond between man and master in which each promised to help and defend the other."If thou harmest another, I shall answer for thee. And any who harm thee shall answer to me."
The oath was sworn before God and was not broken lightly. "Until death shall take me, my Lord release me, or the world shall end."
Nope, can't fault the page.

troll


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 12:05 AM

Both Matty and Lord Arlen's wife are both to lame but the little rat page is the most dispicable of them all- Lord I hate informers.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: GUEST,BanShidhe
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 12:43 AM

This ballad is in Set 3 of our set list right now....lol 1. Anyway, I'm of the opinion that Matty was simply being chivalrous, (in the extreme), first of all reminding Lord Darnell's wife that she is married, then going home with her to service her needs anyway.

2. The servant was doing his duty as well.

3. Lord Darnell was also doing what was expected of him by killing the pair. In those days, I believe that's what one did.

4. Lady Darnell knew the consequences, living in England where the man could cheat, (yeah, right- "Bringing the yearlings home"... more like "Bedding the shepardess alone.") and the woman was chattel, expected to be the main breeding stock to the Lord only. She knew the risk to herself, but she did involve Matty, so I guess she's closer to being the "baddy" here of any of them in my opinion. She was honest to the end though, confessing her disgust for Lord Darnell even when she had a chance to lie & possibly save herself-"I'd rather have a kiss from the dead Matty's lips than you or your finery."

5. Does anyone know if this ballad was based on any particular real event like "The Bonny Boy" (or "The Trees They do Grow High") was? I also think it's interesting how a the characters' motivations change with the different versions I read about above.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Catrin
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 05:11 AM

Good question Banshide,

I really don't know but I would love to.

I have to get some work down now before leaving for Fylde (oh dear, have I already mentioned that???!)

But I will put this one on my tracer and continue whern I get back.

Catrin

BTW - I am constantly changing my mind about who I think is 'to blame' (if anybody). Depends on my mood, who's just put forward a really persuasive argument, how generous towards society I'm feeling.....

P.S. I have heard it argued that Lord Donald is really a bit of a good chap. Didn't he offer MG his best sword to fight with 'You shall have the better of them, and I shall have the worst', thereby giving the lad a sporting chance.....


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 09:05 AM

All of these - and their opposits - are arguable, depending on the PC/moral stance adopted. Have a read of John Jacob Niles' The Ballad Book and you'll see that Sandy makes the interesting point. "All of the above," including Page, are just filling their expected or required roles. But "the daring member of the Lord's platoon of merry men who blew his horn to warn the sleeping" does something out of character. Why does he do that? Niles was semi-obsessed with finding a song to cover the inside story.

Clearly he's endangering himself but is he doing it out of friendship to Matty or Lady? Maybe some other, nefarious reason - that would be more satisfying, anyway.

Niles claims (I say claims) to have finally found a song that gives it. Seems Hornblower is interested in a lady that Page is hooked up with. Remembering that Barnard will kill Page if he was lying, Hornblower simply wants to warn them so it will look like nothing was happening and Page gets killed. Very devious.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 10:23 AM

This was posted in a thread a month or so ago on UK.Music.Folk entitled "Bad Examples in Folk Songs". Amongst other gems it had this appropriate advice for this thread.

When the husband of the woman you are sleeping with arrives unexpectedly to find you both in his bed in the morning, be sure to greet him with: It's fine I like your feather bed, and fine I like your sheets But better I like your lady gay that lies in my arms asleep... A word of caution - on most occasions he won't have two beaten swords in his scabbard, only one. This does change the odds. There is also some chance that he may not be bothered in the slightest if all England knows he killed a naked man.

Rana


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Jon W.
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 10:25 AM

In the Planxty version ("Little Musgrave") the horn blower did it for love of Musgrave (Matty Groves). I'm not even going to venture what form that love took otherwise. Musgrave was one of Lord Barnard's knights and no doubt had more than a sporting chance when Barnard offered him the better sword.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Shanti
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 10:46 AM

Haven't had time to read all the responses, but I think the baddies are the wife, (for even asking MG to sleep with her), the page for being a spy ("I was just doing my job") and especially the husband for drastically over-reacting. At that time, wives were the property of their husbands, but there are other ways he could have punished them. Of course, MG has to bear a little of the respo, but the wife started the process. Guess this all boils down to EVERYONE being the baddy.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Jacob B
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 04:19 PM

In the days when knights carried two swords, the smaller of them was basically what we would now call a dagger. The Lord was giving his sword to Matty, and keeping the dagger for himself.

It seems like there are several versions in which the husband is trying to avoid killing his wife, which he knows he is supposed to do if he discovers her with a lover and survives fighting the lover.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: MMario
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 04:27 PM

Since the knight was in his own bedroom, he could well have been giving Matty his best sword and taking his "spare" off the wall.


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 06:54 PM

But what if the page was a serf, pressed into service,,, fealty means nothing then...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 10:05 PM

Okay. It's election night, and the polls are closing. Tension mounts as the vote count rolls in, riding by riding....out of 48 ridings:

It looks like the official BADDIE is going to be...

1. MATTY GROVES - leading in 9 Ridings.

2. LADY WHOEVER - leading in 12 Ridings!

3. LORD WHOEVER - leading in only 5 Ridings.

4. SOCIETY IN GENERAL - too indefinite a policy statement, and no charisma whatsoever, gets only 5 Ridings.

5. Dark Horse Candidate SHADY GROVES (of the SPAW Party...that's the Solipsismicly Puerile Anal Wankers Party) - gets exactly 1 riding.

THE ROTTEN LITTLE PAGE BOY - a clear minority winner with 16 Ridings!!! Soon to form a government of nasty little treacherous squealers who will betray absolutely everybody...

UNLESS...the other principals form a coalition against him...look for a possible move by Matty and the Lady to combine their 21 Ridings into a single block through a decisive act of political coition.

If so, the Rotten Little Page Boy may attempt a similar alliance with Lord Whoever, which would also result in a block of 21 Ridings! Gad! That would be a governmental deadlock.

But wait! Although we can't expect much from the SOCIETY Party, which has no idea what it really stands for, the SPAW Party could prove to be the tie breaker. Yes, SHADY GROVES STANDS POISED TO BECOME THE KINGMAKER...!!!!

Stay tuned. Ain't democracy great?


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: hesperis
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 11:55 PM

Going by the version in the DT:

a) Matty Groves - for sleeping with a married woman?

I have no objection to his doing that.

b) Lord Donald's wife for comitting adultary?

If this was actually love, and not just boredom, I would have no problem with that. However, if she actually loved the guy, she could have either run away, or gotten involved in the fight, possibly changing the outcome drastically.

c) The little page for telling on them?

Is a "sundt" the same as page?

I smell power plays.
The way it looks here, the guy was merely gossipy, power-seeking, and vindictive towards women.

d) Lord Donald for murdering them both?

Guys get really possesive anyway, and in that time, it was expected/allowed/permitted for them to act out on those feelings. I hate it when guys get like that.
I do blame him for not making sure his wife had something to do while he was away.
The line "never heard to speak so free" suggests that she was just a trophy wife, expected to do nothing except sit and embroider baby clothes... It's really hard not to think of taking a lover when you're not in a true partnership.

e) All of the above

No. Another vote for "Society."

I have no problem with adultery. I have a problem with promiscuity, but mainly on grounds of health.
If the Lady had been allowed any choice in her future, she might not have been married when she met Matty. If there had been true respect in her relationship with the Lord, none of that would have happened. If the general climate had been set up to respect a woman's right to her own body, the sundt wouldn't have gotten any payoff from snitching.
And if the society had been set up with freedom and equality, there wouldn't have been a sundt to snitch...

There was an Irish queen sometime far in the past, who wrote a letter to a nearby king, talking about treaties and crops and stuff like that, and at the end of it, she invited him, very casually, to "share my thighs." That very phrase. I think she was married already, too.

Guys became very possesive of women when they discovered that they actually had something to do with children being born. Paternal lineage became more important than maternal lineage. Men began to trade women, as if they were only breeding animals. Men began to belittle women's minds, creativity, and accomplishments. In order to cover up what they were really doing, they called it 'protection', and made it unsafe for a woman to walk alone.

I blame society, although all the individuals in the song have some blood on their hands for their actions.

~*hesperis*~


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: hesperis
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 12:31 AM

(getting off my soapbox now...)


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Troll
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 12:41 AM

Liz: The page would not have been a serf but the son of a noble house who was "fostered" to Lord Arlen to learn to be-ultimately- a knight. He would start as a page and learn to serve the Lord and Lady as messenger and general go-fer.During this time he would be taught what little reading and writing he would get
When he became a little older, he would begin training in arms and would become a squire.
And so it would go. In the end he would be much closer to Lord Arlen than to his own father; who would have had fosterlings of his own.
Serfs were never used as pages etc. This was a priviledge reserved for the gently born.
Nice theory but the page as serf does not work historicaly.

troll


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 06:06 AM

I don't care, he was still a slimy, brown nosed, arse licking piece of dog's pizzle, who deserved to get galloping dysentery, Viles' disease and the clap.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Matty Groves - who's the 'baddy'?
From: sledge
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 06:56 AM

I heard he did......... From Lord Donalds wife in the first place, explains a lot.


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