Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origin: Lovely Molly (from Jeannie Robertson)

DigiTrad:
COURTING IS A PLEASURE (LOVELY MOLLY)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Molly lovely Molly (5)
Lyr Add: Courting is a Pleasure / Lovely Molly (3)


GUEST,Drumshanty 30 May 01 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,MJ 30 May 01 - 05:30 AM
Malcolm Douglas 30 May 01 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Drumshanty 30 May 01 - 07:48 AM
GUEST 30 May 01 - 08:01 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: LOVELY MOLLY (from Jeannie Robertson?)
From: GUEST,Drumshanty
Date: 30 May 01 - 04:22 AM

Can anybody help me find out whether this song is Scottish or not? I have learned it from the singing of Lizzie Higgins and was intending to sing it in the competition at the TMSA Keith Festival. However, someone has told me that it is possibly Irish so of course it would not be allowed!

I have been trawling the internet for a couple of weeks and come up with nothing much except a reference to it maybe being a bothy ballad.

Anyway, the lyrics are below. Any help would be most appreciated.


LOVELY MOLLY
(from Jeannie Robertson?)

I once was a ploughboy but a soldier I'm now
I hae courted wi' Lovely Molly as I followed the plough
I hae courted wi' Lovely Molly at the age of sixteen
But now I must leave her and serve James, my King.

O Molly, Lovely Molly, despite all your charms
There is many's a night you hae laid in my arms
But if ever I return again it will be in the Spring
Where the mavis and the turtle doves and the nightingales sing

You may go to the market you may go to the fair
You may go to church on Sunday and meet your new love there
But if anybody loves you half as much as I do
Then I won't stop your marriage Farewell love, adieu

O Molly, Lovely Molly, despite all your charms
There is many's a night you hae laid in my arms
But if ever I return again it will be in the Spring
Where the mavis and the turtle doves and the nightingales sing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Lovely Molly - provenance?
From: GUEST,MJ
Date: 30 May 01 - 05:30 AM

For what its worth "mavis" is a Scottish word, unlikely to be in an Irish song, but on the other hand you don't get nightingales in Scotland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Lovely Molly - provenance?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 May 01 - 07:12 AM

In his sleevenotes to Lizzie's Princess of the Thistle (Topic 1969, reissued by Springthyme, 1987), Peter Hall commented "...there are a number of pieces like the present song which is from the time of the Old Pretender."  I don't know if he had any evidence for that statement, which appears with hindsight to have been based on a misunderstanding.  James Porter and Herschel Gower (Jeannie Robertson: Emergent Singer, Transformative Voice, Tuckwell Press 1995) had the benefit of a great deal of personal contact with Jeannie and her daughter, together with archival material, and were able to go into greater detail:

"Hamish Henderson learned this song from Jock MacShannon while engaged in fieldwork in Kintyre (ref. Stephanie Smith, A Study of Lizzie Higgins as a Transitional Figure in the Oral Tradition of Northeast Scotland, M.Litt. thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1975).  He then taught it to Jeannie, who substituted "James" for MacShannon's "George" in the first stanza, presumably because of the number of Stuart kings of Scotland with that name.  She subsequently taught it to Lizzie, who has recorded the song on disc.  Smith has suggested that the change of names was to make the text more Scottish, or more local, and the presence of words like "mavis" (thrush) hints at a nineteenth-century reworking and localisation of a text such as that recorded by Sam Henry (1923-29, 2:282) from a County Antrim informant.  The last line of verse 2 has "When the lark and the linnet and the nightingale sing".  Henry's first stanza runs:

I once was a ploughboy but a soldier I'm now;
I courted lovely Molly, a milkmaid I vow;
I courted lovely Molly; I delight in her charms,
For many's the long night I rolled in her arms.

No king is mentioned in Henry's five stanzas, the last of which introduced the "rue and thyme" motif familiar from various texts of "Green Grow the Laurels".  It is probable that Jock MacShannon came by the song from Kintyre-Ulster contact."

Although this doesn't establish the song's original provenance (a lot of Ulster song derives from the Scottish repertoire), it does demonstrate that Lizzie's own set was likely to have come from Ireland and that it was not, as Hall had supposed, a Jacobite piece.

Malcolm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Lovely Molly - provenance?
From: GUEST,Drumshanty
Date: 30 May 01 - 07:48 AM

Malcolm, what can I say except thank you! That is far more than I expected.

I better start working on another song.

Thank you again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Lovely Molly - provenance?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 01 - 08:01 AM

MJ

Irish nightingales, like their Scottish cousins, are purely poetic!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 1 December 8:04 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.