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Origins: The Cruel Brother (Child #11)

DigiTrad:
CRUEL BROTHER
FLOWERS IN THE VALLEY


Related thread:
Lyr Add: Flowers in the Valley (17)


GUEST,joellead@hotmail.com 23 Apr 01 - 07:26 PM
Sorcha 23 Apr 01 - 07:33 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Apr 01 - 11:07 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Apr 01 - 11:14 PM
GUEST 24 Apr 01 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Dita (at work) 24 Apr 01 - 12:38 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Apr 01 - 11:12 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Apr 01 - 11:18 PM
Sandy Paton 25 Apr 01 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,Wolfman 30 Jan 05 - 10:35 AM
Joe Offer 13 Jun 22 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Opening Moves 13 Jun 22 - 04:27 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jun 22 - 01:34 AM
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Subject: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: GUEST,joellead@hotmail.com
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 07:26 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics to Child Ballad, 'The Cruel Brother', with the repeated phrase 'hey ho the lilly gay' or 'and the rose smells so sweet I/you know'? Please send. Thank you. Versions sung by Andrew Rowan Summers, Sandy Paton, and David Jones especially welcome. Thank you. Joelle


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 07:33 PM

If you use the handy, dandy white search box on the top left of the Main Forum page, you'll find this The Cruel Brother
e mail sent


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 11:07 PM

The version I sing came from Sharp's English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Joelle. I'll post the text, but I've probably corrupted it slightly in the forty-five years that I've been singing it, so I want to check my source and make sure you get the proper words.

Caroline knows the version sung by David Jones (with such a glorious melody!), but she wants to think about the words a bit before she gets me to type them here for her. So, hang in there, lass. You'll have them soon. Maybe even sooner, if some kind sould in Mudcatlanmd has a copy of Sharp and wants to take on the burden (hint! hint!). The one I sing is the one that starts:

There were three fair maids went out to play at ball,
I-O the lily gay,
And three landlords come court them all,
And the rose smells so sweet, I know.

Any volunteers?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 11:14 PM

Should have proofread that before sending it, darn it!

I intended to add that the version of the ballad in the Digital Tradition is the one on my recording of Archie Fisher (CD-61). That's the CD that includes Archie's remarkable "Witch of the West-mer-lands" which was later recorded by Stan Rogers. This is an astounding contemporary ballad written in the classic style. Ever hear it?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 10:34 AM

Sandy, I agree, "Witch" is perhaps the best thing Archie has written. I still play "Man with a Rhyme" a lot.
He first recorded "Witch" with Barbara Dickson on vocals, on her "Beggar's Mantle Fringed with Gold," album, so it was a great delight when you got him to record it himself. Your album was not easy to find 25 years ago in Scotland, (but it still sounds as fresh today), ah, the internet is a wonderful thing.
A big thank you by the way for recording the trilogy of Fisher albums you made with Archie, Ray, and Cilla & Artie. Scottish artists, but only an American label was recording them at the hight of their creativity.
I suppose in some ways you were the mid-wife for Artie's Kettle Records label, so we have that to thank you for as well.
Thanks for all the great music (Scottish and American), you have got out over the years.
love. john.


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:38 PM

Sorry, that post above is mine, keep forgeting thr (at work) bit.
love, john.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CRUEL BROTHER (Child #11)
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the kind words, John. Now I'd best get to work on the "Cruel Brother" text for Joelle. The one I sing is the version Cecil Sharp collected from Mrs. Hester House, in Hot Springs, NC, September 15, 1916. I find that I have changed it slightly, and I will include my amended text following the verse or line I have corrupted. My revision will be in italics.

THE CRUEL BROTHER (Child #11)

There's three fair maids went out to play at ball,
I-O the lily gay,
There's three landlords come court them all,
And the rose smells so sweet I know.

The first landlord was dressed in blue.
He asked his maid if she would be his true.

The next landlord was dressed in green.
He asked his maid if she'd be his queen.

The next landlord was dressed in white.
He asked his maid if she'd be his wife.

It's you may (must) ask my old father dear,
And you may (must) ask my mother, too.

It's I have asked your old father dear,
And I have asked your mother, too.

Your sister Ann I've asked her not;
Your brother John and I had forgot.
(.... Your brother John, him I forgot.)

Her old father dear was to lead her to the yard. (church)
He mother too was to lead her to the step.

Her brother John was to holp her up. (help)
As he holp (helped) her up he stabbed her deep.

Go ride me out on that green hill,
And lay me down and let me bleed.
(.... Carry me to yonder stile,
.... And lay me down while I bleed awhile.)


Go haul me up on that green hill,
(.... Carry me to yon high hill,)
And lay me down till I make (while I write)my will.

It's what will you will (leave) to your old father dear?
This house and land that I have here.

It's what will you will to your mother, too?
(.... It's what will you leave to your mother dear?)
This bloody clothing that I wear.

Go tell her to take them to yonders stream
(.... Tell her to wash them in yonders stream,)
For my heart's blood is in every seam.

It's what will you will to your sister Anne?
My new gold ring and my silver fan.

It's what wil you will to your brother John's wife?
In (it's) grief and sorrow the balance of her life.

It's what will you will to your brother John's son?
It's God for to bless and to make him a man.

It's what will you will to your brother John?
A rope and a gallows for to hang him on.

(The refrain is sung throughout the ballad, of course, as indicated in the first verse above.)

Sandy


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:18 PM

Will a good JoeClone please move "the bloody clothing" down to the line where it belongs? I omitted a <br> break mark. While you're at it, you might close the parenthesis at the end. Thanks, good angels.

Cyberklutz
Does the person who corrects the error get to make wise cracks?
-Joe, the Unclonable-


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Subject: RE: 'thecruelbrother'lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 02:11 AM

Joe, you've earned the right to make wise cracks anytime! Thanks again, lad!

It occurs to me that I ought to point out that the verse I quoted above as one I choose to sing rather than the one originally collected with the ballad, namely:

Carry me to yonders stile
And lay me down while I bleed awhile.

was modified slightly from another Appalachian version, collected in 1939 by Herbert Halpert from Mrs. Polly Johnson in Wise, Virginia. I didn't make it up myself.

Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CRUEL BROTHER (from Tempest)
From: GUEST,Wolfman
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 10:35 AM

Then there's the version done by the band Tempest (www.tempestmusic.com)

There were three sisters lived in a hall
High the rose and the lily, O
There came a knight and he courted them all
O the rose it smells so sweetly

The first one she was dressed in red
Will you come with me and share my bed

And the second one was dressed in green
Would you come with me and be my queen

And the third one she was dressed in white
Would you come and be my only light

You may ask my father the king
And you may ask my mother the queen

And you may ask my sister Ann
But don't forget my brother John

So he has asked her father the king
And he has asked her mother the queen

And he has asked her sister Ann
But he forget her brother John

Her father he led her to the hall
And the mother she danced before them all

And her sister Ann led her to the court
And her brother John helped her on her horse

He had taken the blade both long and sharp
And he pierced the bride right through the heart

Lead me gently up the hill
And there I'll sit and make my will

What will you leave your father dear?
The bonny steed that brought me here

What will you leave your mother dear?
The bloody robes that I do wear

What will you leave your sister Ann?
The golden ring from of my hand

And what will you leave your brother John?
The gallows tree to hang him on


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cruel Brother (Child #11)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 22 - 03:23 PM

Joe-do cleanup

https://mainlynorfolk.info/cyril.tawney/songs/thecruelbrother.html

Casey sang "The Rose and the Lily" at the Singaround.


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: The Cruel Brother (Child #11)
From: GUEST,Opening Moves
Date: 13 Jun 22 - 04:27 PM

Battlefield Band: https://youtu.be/QNSyOeMs6w4

The Cruel Brother (Child #11)

There were three ladies played at ba'
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
But a knight came by, played o'er them a'
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

This knight bowed low tae a' the three
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
But tae the youngest he bent his knee
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

O lady fair, gie me your hand
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
And I'll mak ye lady o'er all my land
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

Sir knight ere you my favour win
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
Ye maun gain consent o'er all my kin
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

He gained consent fae her parents dear
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
And likewise fae her sisters fair
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

He's gained consent o'er all her kin
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
He forgot tae speak tae her brother John
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

When the wedding day was come
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
This knight would take his bonnie bride home
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

Her mother led her through the close
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
And her brother John stood her on her horse
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

He took a knife baith long and sharp
...
And he stabbed the bonnie bride tae her heart
...

Lead me tae yon high high hill
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
And I'll lie doon and I'll mak my will
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

And what will you gie tae your brother John
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
The gallows tree for tae hang him on
Doon by the greenwood sidey o

And what will you gie to your brother John's wife
Hey wi' the rose and the linsey o
The wilderness tae end her life
Doon by the greenwood sidey o


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: The Cruel Brother (Child #11)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jun 22 - 01:34 AM

Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Cruel Brother, The [Child 11]

DESCRIPTION: A man and woman agree to wed, but fail to ask her brother's permission. As the woman prepares for the wedding, her brother stabs her. She does not name her murderer, but reveals the facts in the terms of her will.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: homicide brother marriage jealousy revenge lastwill
FOUND IN: Britain(England (West),Scotland) Ireland US(Ap,NE,SE)
REFERENCES (27 citations):
Child 11, "The Cruel Brother" (14 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
Bronson 11, "The Cruel Brother" (10 versions)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 11, "The Cruel Brother" (4 versions: #1, #4, #6, #9)
Lyle/McAlpine/McLucas-SongRepertoireOfAmeliaAndJaneHarris, pp. 26-33, "THere Were Three Ladies/There Waur Three Ladies" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1, but with differences}
Riewerts-BalladRepertoireOfAnnaGordon-MrsBrownOfFalkland, pp. 235-237, "Cruel Brother Or The Bride's Testament" (1 text)
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume1 54, "The Rose Smells Sae Sweetly" (1 text)
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 114, "The Rosie Smell'd Sae Sweetlie"; Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 135, "Fine Flowers in the Vale O" (2 texts)
Dixon-AncientPoemsBalladsSongsOfThePeasantryOfEngland, Ballad #2, pp. 56-59,242, "The Three Knights" (1 text)
Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland, pp. 270-271, "The Three Knights" (1 text)
Gundry-CanowKernow-SongsDancesFromCornwall, p. 7, "The Three Knights" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #7}
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 6 "The Cruel Brother" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #3, #4}
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 13-15, "The Bride's Murder" (1 text, 1 tune)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 431-433, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland1, pp. 171-174, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 5, "The Cruel Brother" (2 texts)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 5, "The Cruel Brothers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 78-81, "The Cruel Brother" (2 texts)
Leach-HeritageBookOfBallads, pp. 20-22, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
Quiller-Couch-OxfordBookOfBallads 64, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 175, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 32, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 8, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gummere-OldEnglishBallads, pp. 185-187+344, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 8, pp. 21-23, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, pp. 106-107, "The Cruel Brother" (1 text)
SongsOfManyNations, "Flowers in the Valley" (1 text, 1 tune) (12th edition, p. 3, which appears to be a rewrite of Bronson's #10, which itself appears to have been bowdlerized by informant or collector)
DT 11, CRUELBRO*

Roud #26
RECORDINGS:
Rose McCartin, "The Keeper of the Game" (on IREarlyBallads)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Brother's Revenge
Oh Lily O
Lily O
Three Ladies Played at Ball
NOTES [292 words]: Flanders, in her notes in Ancient Ballads, observes that some scholars have seen the possibility of an incest motif in this song. Possible, of course, since the brother's extreme rage seems unreasonable. But the only real evidence is the last will scene, which has parallels in the incest ballad of "Lizzie Wan" [Child 51] -- but *not*, we note, in that other incest ballad, "Sheathe and Knife" [Child 16], nor is the last will scene in "Lord Randall" [Child 16], in which the singer condemns his murderer as in this ballad, in any way linked with incest. Thus there is only one other real instance of a combination of incest and murder and a last will. That's not enough evidence for me to be convinced that it's hidden somewhere in this ballad. - RBW
Compare the first verse lines of Child 10.H to Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 479, "There were three sisters in a hall" (earliest date in Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes is c.1630)
Child 10.H: "There were three sisters lived in a hall, ... And there came a lord to court them all...."
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 479 is a riddle beginning "There were three sisters in a hall, There came a knight amongst them all ...." - BS
This item is also found as Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #702, p. 275, but this appears to be simply a greeting rhyme unrelated to the various rather murderous ballads (notably Child 10 and 11) using these lines. Nonetheless the lyric may have been borrowed, since the Opies derive it from Sloane MS. 1489, which must date from the seventeenth century if not earlier (the Opies say 1630. Note that this MS. should not be confused with the famous Sloane MS. 2593, which contains many of the earliest English proto-ballad lyrics). - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: C011

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