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Lyr Req: Well Met, My Own True Love

DigiTrad:
GREY COCK
GREY COCK (2)
NIGHT VISITING SONG
OH, ARE YOU SLEEPING MAGGIE
SWEET WILLIAM'S GHOST
WESTRON WYND (3)


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GUEST,Rebekkah 04 Jul 01 - 12:13 PM
Brian Hoskin 04 Jul 01 - 12:20 PM
Amos 04 Jul 01 - 12:25 PM
IanC 04 Jul 01 - 12:39 PM
GeorgeH 04 Jul 01 - 12:48 PM
Sandy Paton 04 Jul 01 - 01:19 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 01:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jul 01 - 01:37 PM
IanC 06 Jul 01 - 04:38 AM
pavane 06 Jul 01 - 05:16 AM
Aidan Crossey 06 Jul 01 - 05:49 AM
Pelrad 06 Jul 01 - 04:47 PM
Joe_F 06 Jul 01 - 07:09 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jul 01 - 09:15 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WELL MET, MY OWN TRUE LOVE
From: GUEST,Rebekkah
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:13 PM

I sang the Vaughn Williams setting of this folksong recently, and was puzzled, because although titled "The Lover's Ghost," there is nothing to indicate the supernatural in the lyrics we sang. It has since been suggested that there are more verses, and that this is a demon lover song, rather than a ghost song such as Greycock. If anyone knows more verses, or where I can find them, I would appreciate the information.

Well met, well met, my own true love.
Long time I have been absent from thee.
I am lately come from the salt sea,
And 'tis all for the sake, my love, of thee.

I have three ships all on the salt sea
And one of them has brought me to land.
I have four and twenty mariners on board:
You shall have music at your command.

The ship whereon my love shall sail
Is glorious for to behold.
The sails shall be of shining silk,
The mast shall be of the fine beaten gold.

I might have had a king's daughter,
And fain she would have married me.
But I forsook her crown of gold,
And 'tis all for the sake, my love, of thee.


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:20 PM

I just did a quick search of the lyrics database and it would seem that this is clearly related to this song

Brian


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:25 PM

It's The House Carpenter (although it might also be another song also). Wife/mother lured into running away with another man, both drown.

A


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: IanC
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:39 PM

I think RVW probably recognised it as a version of "The Grey Cock" himself. Here are a few more details, from here.

"The lover's ghost"
Text: English folksong, also known as "The Suffolk Miracle", "The Grey Cock", and "The Drowsy Sleeper"
Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Vaughan Williams had a fairly comprehensive knowledge of ballads, particularly those from broadsides. He often noted fragments from informants and, where he thought appropriate, added in verses from other sources (though his noted versions are accurate). This looks like a case where he didn't. I'll look tonight to see if I can find where he collected this one from.

You might also compare the RVW words with this version of the demon lover from Steeleye Span.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:48 PM

Martin Simpson is still my favourite performer of The House Carpenter. But I think Ian C is right - in this case RVW has either ascribed the wrong title to the song or encountered (in the field) a performance which has already merged two different songs.

G.


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:19 PM

I don't see the "Grey Cock" in the RVW text. Could someone explain the connection to me, please? It looks to me to be a "House Carpenter," pure and simple. You might want to compare the above mentioned texts with the traditional version sung by old Uncle Monroe Presnell on my Ballads and Songs of Tradition (Folk-Legacy CD-125). Mr. Presnell was a great traditional singer from Beech Mountain, North Carolina.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:29 PM

The original version of "The House Carpenter", by Laurence Price, Feb., 1657, is in the Laurence Price file on Bruce O's website. (title - A Warning for Married Women)


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:37 PM

Only a few Grey Cock variants have any supernatural element; those that do probably had it grafted on from versions of The Lover's Ghost, though scholars differ on that.  I'm with Sandy on this one; this example is clearly James Harris/ Demon Lover/ Housecarpenter, and I'd also mention that The Suffolk Miracle is another, completely different song.  I'd guess that RVW was referring to alternative titles that he'd come across, as I can't see him confusing the songs themselves; don't have time to check references just now, though, so perhaps he did.


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: IanC
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:38 AM

Hell!

I thought I had a fairly good set of information for where RVW collected various songs. Can't find this one anywhere! I'll keep at it though, as I'm intrigued why a collector as good as him should have apparently confused 3 different songs.


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: pavane
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 05:16 AM

Link to another copy of A warning for married women


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 05:49 AM

Martin Simpson's version may be good, but for my money the version on "The Watson Family" by one of Doc Watson's elderly female relatives is *the* classic.

(Sweeney's Men do a cracking version on their debut album as well!)


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Pelrad
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:47 PM

Kelly Joe Phelps does a really nice rendition of House Carpenter on his album Shine-Eyed Mister Zen.

What's the Gray Cock?


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 07:09 PM

It's descended from "James Harris (the Daemon Lover)", Child 243. Originally the seducer is the ghost of the woman's former lover; in later versions he is the devil, who (as usual) disappears when the song gets to America.


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Subject: RE: Well met, my own true love
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 09:15 PM

In order to avoid later confusion, I'd best just mention that Joe F was presumably referring to The House Carpenter; The Grey Cock (Child #248) is a completely different song of the "night visiting" type, which just occasionally shows supernatural elements, probably, as I mentioned earlier, borrowed from other songs.  If you want to know more about it, just type grey cock into the "Digitrad and Forum Search" box on the main Forum page.

A great many people have recorded House Carpenter, of course: it's been found in tradition all over the place, and has been particularly popular in Appalachia.  There are field recordings of several traditional sets of the song at  The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection.  Here is one:

House Carpenter  As sung by Allie Long Parker in Eureka Springs, AR on September 2, 1958.


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