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Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows

DigiTrad:
HANGMAN or THE PRICKILIE BUSH
POOR WILL AND THE JOLLY HANGMAN
THE GOLDEN BALL
THE PRICKILIE BUSH
THE STREETS OF DERRY


Related threads:
Briery Bush/Prickly Bush/Hangman songs (31)
Recordings: 'Hangman' (Child 95) (26)
Review: best version of prickly bush yet (7)


tradsteve 23 Sep 00 - 02:33 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 00 - 02:58 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 00 - 06:08 AM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Sep 00 - 12:06 PM
rabbitrunning 23 Sep 00 - 10:48 PM
Anglo 23 Sep 00 - 11:38 PM
tradsteve 24 Sep 00 - 01:41 AM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 00 - 02:22 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jul 11 - 10:50 PM
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Subject: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: tradsteve
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 02:33 AM

Would I be correct to assume that the tune for this is the same tune as for "Little Musgrave"? The structure fits and certain phrases, such as "and Hanged you shall be" match up. -Steven-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 02:58 AM

Hi, Steve - there's a MIDI here at the Contemplator site but I have a hard time pulling the melody out of this particular arrangement.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 06:08 AM

Hi, Steve - I found one recording of the song, and I can't say I like it. It's by John Jacob Niles. I put it on my website - (click) and I'll leave it up for a while so you can listen to it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 12:06 PM

It all depends on precisely which version of the song you're talking about (and which version of Matty Groves, come to that!).  Writing in the late 1950s, Bertrand Bronson described it as the thirteenth most popular (of the ballads listed by Child) in the British-American tradition; that probably means several hundred known examples by now, and a good few tunes, not counting related songs on the same theme like The Streets of Derry (Derry Gaol).  If you're talking about the version on the DT, then only somebody who has the record that it was transcribed from can help; if only people would give useful references instead of just quoting obscure (to the rest of the world) Revival performers...aarrgghh.  I have a number of English versions the tunes of which would fit, but no way of knowing which, if any, come close to the one in question.

Here is what I've found online so far, beside what Joe has already pointed to; mostly no help with tunes, I fear.

On the DT:

The Prickilie Bush  Transcribed from a record, no tune or prior source given.  It may be an American version, but is so close to versions found in the UK that it's impossible to tell.

The Streets of Derry  As recorded by Julie Henigan (see below), no tune given.

In the Forum:

Leadbelly and the Gallus Pole  Brief discussion.

Streets of Derry  Transcriptions from records by Peter Bellamy and Julie Henigan (the latter apparantly a composite partly derived from a version sung by Janet Russell).  No tunes or prior sources given.  As it happens, I have a copy of the Bellamy recording (Both Sides Then, Topic 12TS400, 1979); he mentions in his notes that he "adapted it from the singing of Sarah Makem of Armagh".  There is a transcription of her version in Kennedy's Folk Songs of Britain & Ireland.

There is an entry at  The Traditional Ballad Index:

The Maid Freed from the Gallows [Child 95]

I couldn't find anything at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.

There is an article from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature here:  § 8. The Maid Freed from the Gallows; The Making of Ballads; General Outlines of Ballad Progress.

There is a RA sound clip of an American version recorded by Phil & Gaye Johnson (Folk Songs from Carl Sandburg's The American Songbag) here:  Maid Freed from the Gallows

There are two traditional American versions, with staff notation and audio files, at the  Max Hunter Folk Song Collection:

Hangman, Hangman   As sung by Mrs. Pearl Brewer in Pocahontas, Arkansas on November 12, 1958.

The Hangman  As sung by Mrs. Laura McDonald in Springdale, AR on July 23, 1958.

Analogues of this song turn up all over Europe, at least 50 examples having been found in Finland.  The following is a quote from an abstract of a paper, Lithuanian Folk Songs About Setting Free And Their Parallels In The Ballads Of European Nations, by Auðra Zubavièiûtë:

"..the international ballad, that is known by name Lunastettava neito in Finland, Den Bårtsalda in Sweden, The Maid Freed from the Gallows in England, Die Losgekaufte in German.  The Finnish scientist Iivar Kempinen inserted Lithuanian folk songs about setting free in his book Lunastettava neito (1957) like variants of the international ballad.  Ballad's main motive is girl's setting free from captivity.  The ballad's content narrates about the young maiden, who is in captivity.  She asks her father, mother, sister, brother, fiancé to ransom her with best animals (cow, sheep, bull etc.) or things (sword, house, crown, ring etc.).  Nobody will part with their property; only girl's beloved ransoms her.  The maiden curses all her relatives and blesses her fiancé."

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 10:48 PM

WOW! Now that's a list of references my librarian's heart is most impressed by. Much clapping!

I was going to say that I think this is the song "Hangman" that Burl Ives sang on a record we had when I was a kid, but I think I'll wander away in bemusement, now.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: Anglo
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 11:38 PM

Well if you had said that you would have been perfectly correct. Millions of versions, including the "short" version from the Smothers Brothers (I think, or someone like that).


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: tradsteve
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 01:41 AM

Thanks, all!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Maid Freed From the Gallows
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 02:22 AM

Malcolm, I never cease to be amazed. You sure do good work.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAID FREED FROM THE GALLOWS
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 10:50 PM

Lyr. Add: THE MAID FREED FROM THE GALLOWS
Child 95

1
'Oh good Lord Judge, and sweet Lord Judge,
Peace for a little while!
Methinks I see my own father,
Come riding by the stile.'
2
Oh, father, oh father, a little of your gold,
And likewise of your fee!
To keep my body from yonder grave,
And my neck from the gallows-tree.'
3
None of my gold now shall you have,
Nor likewise of my fee;
For I have come to see you hanged,
And hanged you shall be.'
4
Oh good Lord Judge, and sweet Lord Judge,
Peace for a little while!
Methinks I see my own mother,
Come riding by the stile.'
5
'Oh mother, oh mother, a little of your gold,
And likewise of your fee,
To keep my body from younder grave,
And my neck from the gallows-tree'
6
'None of my gold now shall you have,
Nor likewise of my fee;
For I am come to see you hanged,
And hanged you shall be.'
7
Oh good Lord Judge, and sweet Lord Judge,
Peace for a little while!
Methinks I see my own brother,
Come riding by the stile.'
8
'Oh brother, oh brother, a little of your gold,
And likewise of your fee,
To keep my body from yonder grave,
And my neck from the gallows-tree!'
9
'None of my gold now shall you have,
Nor likewise of my fee;
For I am come to see you hanged,
And hanged you shall be.'
10
'Oh good Lord Judge, and sweet Lord Judge,
Peace for a little while!
Methinks I see my own sister,
Come riding by the stile.'
11
'Oh sister, oh sister, a little of your gold,
And likewise of your fee,
To keep my body from yonder grave,
And my neck from the gallows-tree!'
12
'None of my gold now shall you have,
Nor likewise of my fee;
For I am come to see you hanged,
And hanged you shall be.'
13
'Oh good Lord Judge, and sweet Lord Judge,
Peace for a little while!
Methinks I see my own true-love,
Come riding by the stile.'
14
Oh true-love, oh true-love, a little of your gold,
And likewise of your fee,
To save my body from yonder grave,
And my neck from the gallows-tree.'
15
'Some of my gold now you shall have,
And likewise of my fee,
For I am come to see you saved,
And saved you shall be.'

"Communicated to Percy, 1770, by the Rev. P. Parsons, of Wey, from oral tradition."
Francis James Child, edit., The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, from volune II of the Loomis House Press Edition.

The similar "Sailor Girl from Asia" was collected by Olive Lewin, 1973, Forty Folk Songs from Jamaica, General Secretariat of the OAS, Washington, D.C.; posted in ADD: Jamaican Folk Music, thread 40845.
Jamaican Folk Music


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Mudcat time: 25 September 1:50 PM EDT

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