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Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?

DigiTrad:
BARBARA ALLEN
BARBARA ALLEN (2)
BARBARA ALLEN (5)
BARBARA ELLEN (3)
BAWBEE ALLAN


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(origins) Why Did Barbara Allen Refuse? (113)
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Barbara Allen earliest version? (80)
(origins) ADD: Barb'ry Allen (32)
Lyr Req: 'Barbara Allen' different versions (75)
Lyr Add: Bobby Allen (Afro-American) (3)
Chord Req: Tom Rush's 'Barb'ry Allen' (5)
Lyr Req: 2nd word of Phoebe Smith's barbara Allen (20)
Lyr Req: Bob Dylan's 'Barbara Allen' (3)
Lyr Req: steve tilston's barbry allen (5)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (Vic Legg) (2)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (from Shirley Collins) (2)
Lyr Req: susan reed's barbara allen #84 (5)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (#84, Hedy West) (3)
Lyr Req: Barb'ry Allen (from Tom Rush) (6)
Barbara Allen anomoly (32)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (from Jimmy Stewart) (4)
Lyr Req: Fred Jordan's Barbara Allen (5)
Barbara Allen in '30's Film (37)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (7)
Barbarra Ellen (15)


Hilary 11 Sep 01 - 10:11 AM
IanC 11 Sep 01 - 11:49 AM
Sorcha 11 Sep 01 - 11:54 AM
Llanfair 11 Sep 01 - 02:58 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Sep 01 - 06:44 PM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 01 - 09:30 PM
sophocleese 11 Sep 01 - 09:34 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Sep 01 - 09:46 PM
Hilary 12 Sep 01 - 03:10 AM
IanC 12 Sep 01 - 04:35 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Sep 01 - 03:28 PM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Sep 01 - 05:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Sep 01 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,hilton c 12 Oct 02 - 10:23 PM
masato sakurai 13 Oct 02 - 07:40 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 02 - 03:24 PM
masato sakurai 20 May 03 - 02:15 PM
greg stephens 20 May 03 - 03:43 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 04 - 09:09 PM
Little Robyn 03 Mar 04 - 12:46 AM
Sorcha 03 Mar 04 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Boab 03 Mar 04 - 01:47 AM
Steve Parkes 03 Mar 04 - 03:26 AM
GUEST 07 May 15 - 08:53 PM
Jim Carroll 08 May 15 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Reinhard 08 May 15 - 07:05 AM
Bill D 08 May 15 - 11:35 AM
Bill D 08 May 15 - 11:50 AM
Richie 08 May 15 - 11:54 AM
Reinhard 08 May 15 - 12:05 PM
Bill D 08 May 15 - 12:31 PM
Jim Carroll 09 May 15 - 12:00 PM
MGM·Lion 09 May 15 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,ray wills 27 Mar 16 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Mar 16 - 08:02 PM
Mr Red 28 Mar 16 - 03:50 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Mar 16 - 04:21 AM
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Subject: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Hilary
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 10:11 AM

Does anybody know if there is a story behind the song.

Thank you

H


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: IanC
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 11:49 AM

No, but the BBC just did a play based on the song this afternoon. Is that what you're asking about?


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 11:54 AM

Go to the white (NOT Blue) seach box on the Main Forum page. It says Digitrad and Forum Search. Type in Barbara Allen and hit search. You should find enough to keep you busy for a few days.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Llanfair
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 02:58 PM

The play wasn't bad. As good a theory as any.
Cheers, Bron.


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Subject: Index: Barbara Allen threads
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 06:44 PM

Barbara Allan #1
 
Barbara Allan #2
 
Barbara Allan #3
 
Barbara Allan #4
 
Barbara Allan #5
 
Barbara Allan #6
 
Barbara Allan - DT 2
 
Barbara Allan - DT 2
 
Barbara Allan - DT 3
 


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:30 PM

Here's the entry ffrom the Traditional Ballad Index.
-Joe Offer-

Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84]

DESCRIPTION: A knight lies dying for love of Barbara Allan. His servant summons her, but she scorns him. As she returns home, she hears the death-bell, repents, and in turn dies. Buried close together, a briar grows from her grave, a rose from his; they entwine
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1740 (Tea-Table Miscellany; mentioned by Pepys in 1666)
KEYWORDS: love hardheartedness death flowers
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber,Bord,Hebr),England(All)) US(All) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (33 citations):
Child 84, "Bonny Barbara Allan" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Bronson 84, "Bonny Barbara Allan" (200 versions)
Percy/Wheatley III, pp. 128-130, "Barbara Allen's Cruelty"; pp. 133-135, "Sir John Grehme and Barbara Allen" (2 texts)
Randolph 21, "Barbara Allen" (15 texts, 6 tunes)
Eddy 16, "Bonny Barbara Allen" (6 texts, 4 tunes)
Flanders/Olney, pp. 197-200, "Mary Alling" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 277-280, "Bonny Barbara Allen" (3 texts)
Wyman-Brockway I, p. 1, "Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Friedman, p. 88, "Barbara Allen" (3 texts, 1 tune)
OBB 158, "Barbara Allen's Cruelty" (1 text)
Warner 40, "Barbara Allen"; 187, "Barbara Allen" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
PBB 59, "Bonny Barbara Allen" (1 text)
McNeil-SFB1, pp. 102-105, "Barb'ry Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-100E 7, "Barbara Ellen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Niles 36, "Bonny Barbara Allan" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 19, "Barbara Ellen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, p. 57, "Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-BoA, pp. 7-8, "Bawbee Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 278-279, "Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 89, "Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 169-171," [Barbry Ellen]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 820-822, "Bonny Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
TBB 12, "Bonny Barbara Allan" (1 text)
SHenry H236, p. 375, "Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gilbert, pp. 25-26, "Barbara Allen" (1 text)
HarvClass-EP1, pp. 68-69, "Bonny Barbara Allen" (1 text)
Abrahams/Foss, p. 143, "(Barbara Allen)" (1 tune, partial text)
LPound-ABS, 3, pp. 7-9, "Barbery Allen"; p. 10, "Barbara Allen" (2 texts)
JHCox 16, "Bonny Barbara Allen" (9 texts plus mention of 3 more; 2 tunes)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 79, "Barbara Allen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 179 "Barbara Allen" (1 text)
BBI, ZN1459, "In Scarlet Town where I was bound"
DT 84, BARBALEN* BARBALN2* BARBALN3* BARBALN4 BARBALN5

RECORDINGS:
James B. Cornett, "Barbara Allen" (on MMOK, MMOKCD)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Barbara Allen" (on NLCR10)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Shantyman's Life (I)" (tune)
cf. "Mother, Mother, Make My Bed" (floating verses)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Barbara Ellen
Barbary Allen
File: C084

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2000 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:34 PM

Do you know in the few versions that I've heard I hadn't realized it was a knight that lay dying..Its kind of neat, but such is the power of the first version taht I cannot get rid of the image of a somewhat ordinary young man out of my head for it.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:46 PM

There's obviously something in this story (sometimes referred to as "the bitch and the wimp") that strikes a chord. IT's the most-often-encountered CHild Ballad, and is frequently referred to by the folk as "something that happened in the next town".


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Hilary
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 03:10 AM

Much thanks to everybody,

Especially to George for the 'clicky' links, as I can very rarely manage to get the forum search to work - I promise I do try afore posting a query. I must figure out why. Much fasinating material to pore over.

I heard the last 10 minutes of the play on radio 4 yesterday - which left me wondering if there was a 'true' story behind the song. ( Dainty Davie, Thomas the Rhymer, Sir Patrick Spens come to mind immmediately.)

I find it amazing that connections can be found with people from so long ago. History at school was nothing like this.

I completely agree with Dick that the story strikes a chord, but as I sing unaccompanied I can't actually do that.

Thanks everyone

H


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: IanC
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 04:35 AM

Our village church is made of very soft stone and, over the centuries, inscriptions - graffiti - have been carved there. One or two of these are quite important. Two are plague inscriptions from the mid 14th century and one has been identified as a drawing of Old St Paul's Cathedral before it was destroyed in the fire of 1666. The one which has always intrigued me, though, is one (probably 14th or 15th Century) which says, in Latin:

    "Barbara is what Barbara Says"

(the name Barbara means "Barbarian"). The original Barbara Ellen??

By the way, I think the "Traditional Ballad Index" is out of line in describing the young man as a knight. I have never seen a version which suggests this.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 03:28 PM

A couple of the versions in Bronson begin "In Scarlet Town where I was born." Is this a fictional place or was Scarlet Town a sobriquet for a real town?


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 05:58 PM

I've always been bemused by the effortless way people had of dying on the least provocation in the old stories and songs, typically "of a broken heart". In Ewan McColl's version on Folkways/Smithsonian, it seems that he may have stabbed himself. Don't have the words immediately at hand, but it's to the effect that "Put your hand down by my side, and it will come up red, where my shirt has bled for her," or something like that.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 06:20 PM

There are a further two sets in the DT besides those George mentions above:

BARBARA ELLEN (3)  With tune; noted by Cecil Sharp; the DT file does not say where, when or from whom.
BAWBEE ALLAN  With tune; transcribed from a record by Ewan MacColl.  Traditional source not given.

So far as the placename is concerned, Robert Bell (Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England, 1857) comments:

"In Percy's version of Barbara Allen, that ballad commences "In Scarlet town," which, in the common stall copies, is rendered "In Redding town."  The former is apparently a pun upon the old orthography - REDding."

While that is not impossible, it should be noted that the "stall copies" referred to are all later than the texts in the Reliques.  Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, 1859) added:

"It has been suggested that for "Scarlet" town... we should read "Carlisle" town.  Some of the later printed copies have "Reading" town."


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST,hilton c
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 10:23 PM

While hearing for the first time the last verse concerning the union of the rose and the briar, I could not help but wonder if perhaps this sprang from a legend of why roses have thorns.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 07:40 AM

I've just listened to a musically unique version of "Barbara Allen" [mp3] at this site.

Barbara Allen
Performed by: Frank Luther and his Pards
Composed by: Maggie Andrews
Edison Diamond Disc
Matrix Number: 18654-A-1-2
Release Number: 52377-L
Recording Date: 1928
Release Date: 1928

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 03:24 PM

The National Park Service site found by Masato is nicely set up for mp3 copying of the material that they have prepared. I hope that more will be added in the future. It might be worth writing them from time to time to encourage additions- they say they have 35000 items in this collection.

Out of curiosity I tried to locate the recordings by starting with www.nps.gov and attempting to find it through their index, but no luck. Have you tried to find the path to these pages that way?

They have as well a fine old Dalhart there (Get out of my way) that I was very glad to find.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 May 03 - 02:15 PM

The site is updated with some new sound recordings added, and the link above is inactive. My route is as follows:

(1) The National Park Service (Home Page)

(2) Click on "Visit Your Parks", and THIS PAGE appears.

(3) Pull down the menu "--Select a Park to Visit--", and select "Edison National Historic Site." THIS PAGE appears.

(4) Click on "inDEPTH" icon, and THIS appears.

(5) Go on to "Edisonia", and then to "SOUND" (THIS IS THE PAGE). "Barbara Allen" is at "Country & Anglo-American Folk Songs."


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:43 PM

Carlisle seems more likely than Reading, stylistically and historically, but the origins will never be known. Fun to speculate, though.
   
Not all versions agree on the cause of the rift between the pair, but bad behaviour while out on the piss with the lads turns up in a lot of cases. Let that be a lesson to us all.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 09:09 PM

Funnily enough, a few days ago on a TV program on the BBC (I forget what it was about except I think it was something historical, possibly to do with War), a tune which I recognised as Barbara Allen was playing in the background. I think it was the same as in the MIDI file on the Child Ballads Website. Personally though I prefer Peggy Seeger's slightly different version of the song, and can understand Samuel Pepys being moved to tears by his hearing of the song sung by a scullery maid back in the 17th century.

The last word on someone dying for love was possibly said by George Bernard Shaw. When a friend asked him if he knew of a case of someone dying for love, he replied that he had known a man who was deeply in love with a girl, and was rejected by her. His friend said "And did he die of it?" Shaw replied, "Yes, he did - fifty years later". (Probably an apocryphal story in my opinion).

I actually once met a woman called Barbara Allen (about 20 years ago). She was connected with an amateur dramatic society; as it happened I joined another group, though mercifully (as I soon realised I can't act for toffee) my career never did take off, but I did get the chance to act a non-speaking part in "Playboy of The Western World" (Note that there is no "The" in the title!) at a local theatre. The male lead (who I thought was destined for greater things) did however get a part on 1 episode of "The Bill" (a Police Drama on ITV in Britain) some years back. Oddly enough I didn't recognise him at first (though it was probably 10 or more years later) and it was only when I recognised his name on the credits that I rewound the Video tape and looked more closely.

Not that any of this will add anything to the thread, but then as someone said: "You're missing the point of Mudcat, which is to miss the point of the thread" (or something like that). Just like when someone asked for the lyrics of a song recently and none of the many posts about it even gave a line of it. That's what I call being helpful!


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 12:46 AM

My Gr.gr.grandmother was named Barbara Ellen Slucock (1834-1890). I've always wondered if her parents knew the song.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 01:22 AM

Friend of mine did some serious research in a library in Virginia, US and tells me she discovered that the reason Barbara Allen rejected William was because he bought another lady a drink in a pub, but not her.....?? That is what she said, anyway....


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 01:47 AM

Sorcha---the lady's "serious research" must have thrown up one of the verses!
'twasna this the other day
Doon in yon tavern drinkin'
Ye bade the healths gang roond an' roond,
While Barbara Allen slichtin'!


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 03:26 AM

Some versions have her explain that he'd drunk the health of all the girls but slighted BA. I first learnd it at school at the end of the 50s; we sang the Cecil Sharp version, which didn't have the slighting verse. I wonder if they were both playing hard to get, and neither expected the other to call their bluff? I have to say that he always struck me as a great wimp, and no wonder she didn't want him; and she came over as a spoiled adolescent (there's plenty of them in their 20s & 30s!) who'd turn up her nose at something when she could have it, but have a tantrum when she couldn't. I'd prefer the kinder interpretation (I usually see the best in people): what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:53 PM

Hi all, is there any way that I can access a digital copy of Seeger's recordings of Barbara Allen? Any direction or help would be greatly appreciated!


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 May 15 - 03:01 AM

Yes - if you can contact me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST,Reinhard
Date: 08 May 15 - 07:05 AM

You can buy the track from Smithsonian Folkways.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 May 15 - 11:35 AM

Pete or Peggy? I have both. 2 versions of Pete's.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 May 15 - 11:50 AM

Note... the track from Smithsonian Folkways is Ewan & Peggy together. What I have is just solos. Where are you?


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Richie
Date: 08 May 15 - 11:54 AM

Hi,

Don't forget about Mike and Charles, the latter recorded and album, Versions & Variants of the Tunes of "Barbara Allen".

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Reinhard
Date: 08 May 15 - 12:05 PM

Bill, the Smithsonian album Cold Snap ist credited to Ewan and Peggy,
but they split the singing duties for the individual tracks. Barbara Allen is sung by Peggy only.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 May 15 - 12:31 PM

Ok... then that must be what I have. I have the MP3 individually, and also the LP. I just hadn't compared the versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 May 15 - 12:00 PM

"Ewan & Peggy together. What I have is just solos."
Ewan and Peggy sang 3 versions between them on 'The long Harvest' - Peggy's was the one "she had known from childhood, but collated"
In his latter days, Ewan took to singing the one they recorded from the Dorset Gypsy, Caroline Hughes, slightly filled out - he was fascinated by the tune
Jim Carroll

These are the two version they got from English Travellers.

Barbry Ellen
from Caroline Hughes, Wareham, Dorset (1962)

O, in Reading Town where I was born,
There's a fair young lady dwelling;
I picked her out for to be my bride,
And her name was Barbry Ellen, Ellen,
And her name was Barbry Ellen.

Now, mother dear, you make up my bed,
You'll make it soft and easy;
That I might die for the sake of love,
And that she might die for sorrow, sorrow,
And that she might die for sorrow.

Now, mother dear, you'll look up over my head,
You'll see my gold watch standing;
There's my gold watch and my guinea gold ring,
Will you 'liver it to Barbry Ellen, Ellen?
Will you 'liver it to Barbry Ellen?

Now, mother dear, look at the side of my bed,
You'll see a bowl there standing,
It is full of tears that I've lost this night
For the loss of Barbry Ellen, Ellen,
For the loss of Barbry Ellen.

Now, as I were a-walking across the fields,
I met a corpse a-coming;
(O, you put down, my six young lambs)
(O, put him down, my six young lads?)
That I might well gaze on him, on him,
That I might well gaze on him.

While (strollily) I walked on, (strolled I, strolling there?)
I heard the (knell a-telling), (bell a-tolling?)
And as it tolled, O, it seemed to say :
'Hard-hearted Barbry Ellen, Ellen,
Hard-hearted Barbry Ellen!'





Burber Helan
From Nelson Ridley Wineham, Kent (1974)

It was in Ireland where I were borned,
I met a fair maid a-dwelling;
Young Johnny Rose, put on your clothes,
Young man, I think you're dying.

Look at the side of my bedside,
You'll find a vase a-standing;
There's a gay gold watch and a diamond ring,
That's left for Burber Helen.

O, clerky, clerky, dig me my grave,
And dig it long and narrow;
My true love died for me last night,
I'll die for her tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 May 15 - 03:31 PM

Wonder why the Traditional Ballad Index, cited above by Joe, calls the young man "a knight", specifically. He is in some versions, eg Sir John Graeme of the West Country; but other, non-titled, names, notably Sweet William, Young Jemmy Grove, Johnny Rose, &c &c &c, occur just as frequently in the plethora of variants of this most widespread of ballads.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST,ray wills
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 12:04 PM

I believe that the Seegers n McColl obtained hundreds of these from Caroline Hughes Gypsy queen in the early sixties in poole dorset gypsy campsite canford heath


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 08:02 PM

From old ballads to modern pop songs, the idea circulates that if a man loves (lusts) a woman, but she doesn't care for him, then she's bad. Silly idea!

I quit listening to pop music a long time ago, but fairly recent versions of this are

Elvis's - Don't Be Cruel,
Beatles' - Ticket to RIde, You Won't See Me
Somebody - Delilah. He kills her. What a hero.

======
Back in the 1970's, my husband was acquainted with a guy who actually did kill himself over a girl. He told her that if she didn't accept him, he would kill himself. She didn't accept him, he did kill himself, and in my opinion she had a lucky, if costly, escape.

This is probably what really happened with Barbara Allen.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Mar 16 - 03:50 AM

Didn't the Everley Brothers sing a most exquisite version. They title it Barbara Allen.
http://slager.network.hu/video/the_everly_brothers/the_everly_brothers__barbara_allen
http://www.vagalume.com.br/the-everly-brothers/barbara-allen.html
https://search.yahoo.com/search


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Subject: RE: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Mar 16 - 04:21 AM

"This is probably what really happened with Barbara Allen."
I've never considered the idea that Barbara Allan was about suicide., for me it is the perfect ballad of the despair of unrequited love which is what has made it so popular among so many people for so long - somewhere we've all been at one time or another.
Jim Carroll


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