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Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey

DigiTrad:
MISS BAILEY


Related threads:
Folklore: Ratafee (strong drink) (20)
happy? - July 25 (Miss Bailey) (1)


Abby Sale 29 Oct 01 - 06:06 PM
Bill D 29 Oct 01 - 09:47 PM
sian, west wales 30 Oct 01 - 04:59 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Nov 06 - 04:23 PM
OtherDave 30 Nov 06 - 06:01 PM
greg stephens 30 Nov 06 - 06:41 PM
Bill D 30 Nov 06 - 07:46 PM
Joe Offer 30 Nov 06 - 08:18 PM
Ferrara 30 Nov 06 - 08:50 PM
Joe Offer 30 Nov 06 - 08:54 PM
Joe Offer 30 Nov 06 - 09:05 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Nov 06 - 09:35 PM
Richie 30 Nov 06 - 09:42 PM
Joe_F 30 Nov 06 - 10:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Nov 06 - 10:28 PM
Richie 30 Nov 06 - 11:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Dec 06 - 12:05 AM
Abby Sale 01 Dec 06 - 09:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Dec 06 - 12:00 AM
Flash Company 02 Dec 06 - 09:57 AM
Abby Sale 02 Dec 06 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 03 Dec 06 - 09:43 PM
KenBrock 12 Dec 06 - 11:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 10 - 05:06 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Oct 10 - 06:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 10 - 08:15 PM
Thomas Stern 01 Oct 10 - 08:42 PM
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GUEST,Kevin Andrew Murphy 23 Mar 11 - 02:32 PM
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Subject: 5th verse
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 06:06 PM


I've recently been doing a bit research on "Unfortunate Miss Bailey."  Bruce
Olson has much good background at his website that I won't repeat here.
Except that the tune for this song was, by then, in tradition but based on
"Ally Croker" by Larry Grogan, an Irish piper of the first half of
the 18th century, & traditionally credited with the composition about 1725.

The new song was written by someone only identified as "Risk" for George
Colman's "Love laughs at locksmiths," (a comic opera, in two acts.)  It
premiered on July 25, 1803 (Not worth reading, BTW.)

The play was translated word-for-word from the French, "Une Folie" with the
single addition of "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" at the very end.  The song
became a pop hit in London and also, 4 years later after the play was
pefmormed in NY, in the US.  It went immediately into tradition in both
countries and is recognized as the tune for the Battle of New Orleans song,
"The Hunters of Kentucky."

Now here's the thing.  The song's pretty standardized but Marais and
Miranda sing a 5th verse I haven't heard elsewhere.  It appears in the Levy
Collection handwritten anonymously onto the sheet music from NY but there
is no piece of this verse in the original book of the play. (I have a
microfiche copy of the book from Inter-Library Loan in front of me now.)

If you go to http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/advancedsearch.html and
search titles for "Unfortunate Miss Bailey."  It's extremely hard to read but
I down-loaded the right-click image and played a bit.  Referring back to
Marais's singing, I get this:

               Next morn his man knocked at his door,
               He says "John, now [come] dreƒs me.
               Miƒs Bailey's got [my] one-pound note."
               John says, "Good Heavens, bleƒs me!
               I should not mind if she had ta'en
               No more than all your riches;
               But with your one-pound note, Egad!
               She's ta'en your [only] breeches."
                   Oh, Miƒs Bailey, unfortunate Miƒs Bailey,

Worth singing, I think.  I wonder if any might have any additional info on
this last verse?


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Subject: RE: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:47 PM

hmmmm!!...a friend (female...*smile*) gave me this verse about 20 years ago, and I have been singing it ever since..(with very slight changes)...I sang it, in fact, at the FSGW Getaway just last week..I am sorry, I do NOT know where she found it, but I DO know she had been doing research at the Library of Congress about that time.

I always thought the verse sounded 'original', and not something added recently.


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Subject: RE: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: sian, west wales
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 04:59 AM

Abby, thanks for that! My sister and I used to sing Miss Bailey's Ghost, picked up from a Maritimes singer whose name escapes me, and minus the above verse. I'm going to copy this to her!

sian


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Subject: RE: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 04:23 PM

The Bodleian Library has a copy of "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" with an illustration showing Captain Smith, in his bed and holding his libation, and Miss Bailey (looking quite substantial) remonstrating with him.
The sheet was produced by Laurie and Whittle, London, Feb. 12, 1804, and states that it was sung in the play by Mr. Matthews at the Haymarket (Theatre) and Mr. Fawcett at Covent Garden.

The third verse differs in the first line from that in the DT:

Avaunt, Miss Bailey, then he cry'd. "your face looks white and mealy."
Dear Captain Smith, the ghost reply'd, "you've used me ungenteely.
"The Coroner's quest goes hard with me because I've acted fraily.
"And Parson Biggs won't bury me, tho' I am dead Miss Bailey."

"Dear Corpse," says he, "since you and I accounts must once for all clear close,
"I've got a One Pound Note, in my Regimental small clothes,
"Twill bribe the Sexton for your grave." the ghost then vanish'd gaily,
Crying "bless you wicked Captain Smith, remember poor Miss Bailey."

(At the time, one pound was a fair sum; versions citing ten pounds are modern adaptations.)
I haven't found the source for the fifth and sixth verses.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ballads/ballads.htm


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Subject: RE: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: OtherDave
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 06:01 PM

I recall the Kingston Trio singing a version much like the one in your post, Q.

From memory, they sang "...won't bury me, though I'm a dead Miss Bailey."

And "Dear ma'am, says he, since you and I must once for all accounts close..."

A fine song, and the third good memory I've found on the forum tonight.


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Subject: RE: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 06:41 PM

Delighted to find someone reviving this thread, on a classic song, which ontains some very witty writing indeed.


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Subject: RE: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 07:46 PM

The only significant difference in the verse Abby posted and the one my friend gave me is that it was roughly adjusted for inflation...I sing "5 pound note". I also sing "got your only breeches" rather than "taen"...but maybe my memory is fuzzy.

I suspect my friend did get in in the L of C....

in the other verse, I sing "avaunt, Miss Bailey, then he cried, you can't affright me, really"....but I have heard "white & mealy"

Oh, and in the 1st verse, I staunchly cling to "drinking ratafia" rather than "turpentine" or some other strange, silly liquid.

*shrug*...good old song, no matter the details.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 08:18 PM

I can't find the song on Bruce Olson's Website, but then I've always had trouble finding my way around there. Great information there if you can find it, though. (there is some on this page under "Alley Croker," but I'm not sure if that's what Abby is referring to).
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on Miss Bailey:

Unfortunate Miss Bailey

DESCRIPTION: Captain Smith seduces Miss Bailey, who hangs herself. One night her ghost returns and upbraids him, saying she's been ill-used, and the parson won't bury her. The captain gives her money to bribe the sexton, whereupon she vanishes, content.
AUTHOR: George Colman
EARLIEST DATE: 1840 (broadside by Such of London)
KEYWORDS: seduction suicide humorous nightvisit ghost soldier
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond)) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Friedman, p. 54, "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" (1 text)
Fowke/Johnston, pp. 183-185, "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" (1 text, 1 tune)
PBB 88, "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 182, "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" (1 text)
DT, BAILYGHO

Roud #4549
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Hunters of Kentucky" [Laws A25] (tune)
Notes: This song is variously credited to George Colman the elder (1732-1794) and George Colman the younger (1762-1836). As it appears in the latter's play "Love Laughs at Locksmiths," the younger seems a stronger candidate. - RBW
File: FR054

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Ferrara
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 08:50 PM

Somehow I expect the original line was

Since you and I accounts must once for all close,

which gives a wonderful rhyme of "for all close" with "small clothes."

Ratafia was a drink (said to be very sweet) for ladies, with a little alcohol and a lot of flavoring. Here is a recipe from 1828:

Into one quart of brandy pour half a pint of cherry juice, as much currant juice, as much of raspberry juice, add a few cloves, and some white pepper in grains, two grains of green coriander, and a stick or two of cinnamon, then pound the stones of cherries, and put them in wood and all. Add about twenty five or thirty kernels of apricots. Stop your demijohn close and let it infuse for one month in the shade, shaking it five or six times in that time at the end of which strain it through a flannel bag, then through a filtering paper, and then bottle it and cork close for use; you can make any quantity you chose, only by adding or increasing more brandy or other ingredients.

Ugh.


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Subject: ADD Version: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 08:54 PM

Here's the version from the Folksinger's Wordbook - only slightly different from what's in the DT.

UNFORTUNATE MISS BAILEY

A captain bold from Halifax
who dwelt in country quarters,
Seduced a maid who hanged herself
one morning in her garters.
His wicked conscience smited him,
he lost his stomach daily,
He took to drinking turpentine
and thought upon Miss Bailey.
Oh, Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey.

One night betimes he went to rest,
for he had caught a fever,
Says he, "I am a handsome man, but I'm a gay deceiver.'
His candle just at twelve o'clock
began to burn quite palely,
A ghost stepped up to his bed side and said,
"Behold Miss Bailey!"
Oh, Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey.

"Avaunt, Miss Bailey !" then he cried,
"Your face looks white and mealy,"
"Dear Captain Smith," the ghost replied,
"You've used me ungenteely;
The Coroner's quest goes hard with me
because I've acted frailly,
And Parson Biggs won't bury me,
though I'm a dead Miss Bailey."
Oh, Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey.

"Dear Ma'am," said he,
"since you and I accounts must once for all close,
I have a one-ound note in my regimental small clothes.
'Twill bribe the Sexton for your grave."
The ghost then vanished gaily,
Crying, "Bless you wicked Captain Smith,
remember poor Miss Bailey."
Oh, Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey.


G
A captain bold from Halifax
    D7
who dwelt in country quarters,
   G
Seduced a maid who hanged herself
    D7
one morning in her garters.
    G
His wicked conscience smited him,
    C                Am
he lost his stomach daily,
    D7
He took to drinking turpentine
    G
and thought upon Miss Bailey.
                   C             G
Oh, Miss Bailey Unfortunate Miss Bailey


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 09:05 PM

Mr. Scanner has one more for you. Not much different, but worthwhile. This is from Folks Songs of Canada, by Edith Fowke and Richard Johnston.

UNFORTUNATE MISS BAILEY

1. A captain bold in Halifax who dwelt in country quarters
Seduced a maid who hanged herself one Monday in her garters.
His wicked conscience smited him, he lost his stomach daily;
He took to drinking rafafia, and thought upon Miss Bailey
O Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey!

2. One night, betimes, he went to bed, for he had caught a fever.
Said he, "I am a handsome man, and I'm a gay deceiver!"
His candle lust at twelve o'clock began to burn quite palely;
A ghost stepped up to his bedside and said, "Behold Miss Bailey!"
O Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey!

3. "Avaunt, Miss Bailey," then he cried, "You can't affright me, really."
"Dear Captain Smith," the ghost replied, "You've used me ungenteely.
The coroner's 'quest goes hard with me because I've acted frailly,
And Parson Biggs won't bury me, though I'm a dead Miss Bailey."
O Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey!

4. "Dear Ma'am," said he, "since you and I accounts must once for all close,
I have a one-pound note in my regimental small clothes.
'Twill bribe the sexton for your grave." The ghost then vanished gaily,
Crying, "Bless you, wicked Captain Smith! Remember poor Miss Bailey."
O Miss Bailey! Unfortunate Miss Bailey!


notes:
    The gay little song about the unfortunate Miss Bailey and the wicked Captain Smith was probably brought to this continent by British soldiers serving in the colonies. The tune was well known in England, where it was used for at least three other songs during the eighteenth century: "No more, Fair Virgins, Boast Your Power", "The Golden Days of Good Queen Bess", and "Ally Croaker". The words are credited to George Colman, an English dramatist (1732-1794), and were very popular in England for at least fifty years.
    By the early part of the nineteenth century the song had also spread throughout North America, for when Samuel Woodworth wrote his famous ballad of the War of 1812, "The Hunters of Kentucky", the old broadsheets bore the inscription: "To the air of Miss Baily". The original setting for the story was, of course, in England, but when soldiers sang it on this side of the Atlantic they would naturally associate Captain Smith with Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    "Ratafia" (in the first stanza) is a powerful drink mode from peach kernels, brandy, and wine. "Regimental small clothes" (in the last stanza) refers to the tight-fitting knee breeches worn in the eighteenth century.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 09:35 PM

'Your face looks white and mealy' originally, rather than "you can't affright me, really". Ferrara is right, of course, about "accounts must once for all close".

There was a sequel to the song (apparently written by Joseph Kertland c.1806); it appeared, for instance, in The Universal Songster (Vol I, 1832, 272) as 'Miss Bailey's Ghost'; presumably it was intended for the same tune, though it was made as a parody on 'Nobody Coming to Marry Me'. Worth quoting here, perhaps:

Miss Bailey's Ghost

The dog had ceas'd to bark,
The silver moon shone bright,
When, in the lone church-yard,
Stood poor Miss Bailey's ghost.
Oh! what will become of me?
Ah! why did I die!
Nobody coming to bury me!
Nobody coming to cry!

The first time I saw Captain Smith
I was fair, though he treated me foul,
So here tête à tête with the moon,
All night will I bellow and howl,
Oh! what can the matter be,
My own ghost in the cold must expire,
While wicked Smith, o'er his ratafie,
Is roasting his shins by the fire.

The last time I saw my deluder,
He gave me a shabby pound-note,
But I borrowed his best leather breeches,
To wear with my wooden surtout.
And its oh, to be covered in decency,
For a grave I the parson did pay,
But Captain Smith's note was a forgery,
And I was turned out of my clay.

And here I am singing my song
Till almost the dawning of day;
Come, sexton, come, spectre, come, Captain,
Will nobody take me away?
But hold, yet I've one comfort left,
Delightful to most married fair,
Though cold, and of all joy bereft,
Yet still I've the breeches to wear.

Broadside copies can be seen at   Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

No rest in the grave: or The second appearance of Miss Bailey's ghost / Nobody coming to bury me nobody coming to cry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Richie
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 09:42 PM

Here's some info from Ceolas:

ALLIE CROKER. AKA - "Ally Croaker," "Ally Crocker," "Alley Crocker." AKA and see "Alas My Little Bag," "Stick the Minister," "The Shamrock Cockade." Scottish, Irish, English, American, Canadian; Reel, Country Dance. USA, New England. D Major. Standard. AB (Kerr's, Messer): ABB (Brody): AABB (Miller & Perron, Sloanaker, Sweet). This song, as "Ally Croker," was written and music composed by Lawrence (Larry) Grogan of Johnstown Castle, County Wexford, who was reknowned as a "gentleman piper" and composer of Irish airs (Grogan, by the way, was the first performer on the improved version of the Irish pipes called the uilleann or (archaically) Union pipes). It is his most famous composition. Both the air and song date from 1725, according to Crofton Croker, with single sheet editions of the song from c. 1730 and c. 1740 extent. The lyrics describe the vagarancies of a disappointed suitor of Miss Alicia Croker, the sister of Edward Croker, High Sheriff of County Limerick (for more on Larry Grogan and Alicia Croker see T.C. Croker's Popular Songs of Ireland). It quickly found favor and was adopted by ballad singers, inform Flood (1906) and O'Neill (1913), and was soon introduced into the play Love in a Riddle (1729), Sam Foote's comedy The Englishman in Paris (1753, in which the lyrics were slightly revised and the tune called "Ally Croaker," by which spelling it usually appears after this date), and Kane O'Hara's Midas (1760). The tune was printed by Rutherford c. 1754 in his Choice Collection of 60 Country Dances.
***
In 1803 the air was wedded by George Colman to a song entitled "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey" and Tom Moore used it for his lyric "The Shamrock." The English musicologist Chappell claimed the air was English because of its appearence in "Love in a Riddle," however, Flood asserts Larry Grogan is the author/composer due to a reference to the tune by Pierce Creagh of County Clare in his 1730 "The County of Limerick Buck Hunt." Creagh may have been partisan though, for he and Grogan were great friends (Creagh even named one of his race horses after him-- "Larry Grogan" won at least one purse for its owner). "Allie Crocker/Croaker" continued to be in vogue throughout the century and was the air set to the song "The Shamrock Cockade," popular in Munster with the Irish Volunteers (1774-1784). It is one of the "lost tunes" from William Vicker's 18th century Northumbrian dance tune manuscript. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; pg. 21. Cole (1001 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; pg. 8 (appears as "Ally Croaker"). Kerr (Merry Melodies), Vol. 1; No. 9, pg. 22. Messer (Way Down East), 1948; No. 6. Messer (Anthology of Favorite Fiddle Tunes), 1980; No. 26, pg. 26. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddlers Repertoire), 1983; No. 135 (Appears as "Alice Crocker's Reel"). Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964; pg. 47. Fretless 119, Rodney and Randy Miller- "Castles in the Air."
T:Allie Crocker
L:1/8
M:C|
K:D
Ad dc d2df|ed cd ef ga|fd dc d2df|ed cB AG FE|
Dd dc d2df|ed cd ef ga|fd dc d2df|ed cd ef ge:|
|:fa a^g a3a|ba gf ef g2|Ag gf g2gb|ag fe de f2|
Ad dd dc cc|cB BB BA AA|Ag gf g3b|ag fe d2d2:|


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Joe_F
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 10:18 PM

It will probably do no harm to repeat here a long-standing speculation of mine, concerning the first two lines of the second stanza. The captain has gone to bed early because he is ill; why on that occasion does he indulge in a bit of self-congratulation? Because (as we may read) in the 18th century men were proud of having syphilis -- it showed that they had gotten around. My guess is that the fever was due to tertiary syphilis -- and so, then, was the hallucination of the ghost. That makes the song a sly satire on belief in the supernatural, much in the spirit of the times.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 10:28 PM

Information contained in the old version of The Fiddler's Companion on the Ceolas site is woefully out of date; compiler Andrew Kuntz eventually grew sick of Ceolas' refusal to allow him access to it to make additions and corrections, and moved it to  http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/index.html; that would be several years ago now.

Please don't copy and paste entries from the old site, which contains some real howlers. Best, on the whole, to provide a link to the entry on the current site:

http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/ALL_AMU.htm#ALLIE_CROKER.

In this case, I think, the entry has not yet been revised (it still contains the extraordinary statement "Grogan ... was the first performer on the improved version of the Irish pipes called the uilleann or (archaically) Union pipes", for example); but providing a link rather than copying the text will help to ensure that not too many of the errors currently included (note that nothing said by Grattan Flood can be trusted unless independently verified by proper sources) need be spread any more widely than they have already been.

Mind you, that's just information relating to the tune used for Miss Bailey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Richie
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 11:22 PM

Malcolm,

I'm not validating the info just providing it.

If you look at old posts many if not all off the links don't work. Ten years from now Kuntz cite may no longer exsist.

Personally I think the main info should always be provided and a link,
if it's long.

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 12:05 AM

My mistake in the 1804 verse 4 that I posted- the word is close, not clear, as Malcolm Douglas points out. Should have worn my glasses, and read for the rhyme.

It was George Colman the Younger who produced "Love Laughs at Locksmiths," July 25, 1803, at the Haymarket Theatre.
All of his productions are listed at: "http://www.uwec.edu/mwood/colman/plays.html
Fowke and Johnson in Folk Songs of Canada (Joe Offer post, above) may have mistakenly credited the Elder, in their note about the version they found in Canada.
In "Unfortunate Miss Bailey," Captain Smith referred to himself as a 'gay deceiver'; in the following year Colman produced "Gay Deceivers, or More Laugh than Love" (22 Aug 1804), also at the Haymarket Theatre.

It would be interesting to know if the play was also produced by a troupe in Boston or Philadelphia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Abby Sale
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 09:49 PM

Please have another squint at the original post re the dates of opening in London and New York. Also that Colman in the original book credits "Risk" as the 4-verse song's author. I don't know the date of the book but it seems reasonable that it was before the play opened.

The translation of the French play was completed October 1802.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 12:00 AM

Reference for 'Risk' ?

The only copy on line at Levy Collection is incomplete (London printing, nd).

The Library of Congress has "Love Laughs at Locksmiths," George Colman, a comic opera in two acts, in a New York 2nd. edition, pub. by D. Longworth, 1808, taken from the 1st London edition of 1806, 47 pp.
Printing of a 2nd. ed. indicates that the play was popular in America.

They also have a copy printed in London by J. Cumberland, no date.

Edith Wray, English Adaptations of French Drama between 1780 and 1815, Modern Language Notes, Feb. 1928, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 87-90, lists "Love Laughs at Locksmiths" as an 'adaptation' of the French play. Not seen, so I can't comment on the degree of adaptation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Flash Company
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 09:57 AM

A passing aside, in the film 'How the West Was Won', the younger daughter who becomes an entertainer, starts to sing this song and is immedeitely slapped down by Dad (Jimmy Stewart) for singing 'dirty songs'.

FC


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 11:18 AM

Sorry, Q, I only saw the simple credit of the song to him within the book. "Risk" is all that's given and I've yet to find any expansion on that. The song is used as a curtain closer and has nothing to do with the story in the play.

My info is that the play is a near-literal translation (ie, rip-off) from the French. I can say that I plowed through the entire play on my microfiche reader (I happen to have one because my father-in-law invented the process) and found barely a paragraph or phrase worth bothering with. The only redeeming feature was the song.

Maybe "Risk" wrote all the good English folksongs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 06 - 09:43 PM

Just for the record, I think Mick Hanley's version should be mentioned, especially the mesmerising harmonica/guitar solo he finishes it with.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: KenBrock
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 11:09 AM

I have found this link:

http://search.abaa.org/dbp2/cart.php?addbook=305436333

to the Antiquarian Book Sellers listing a book containing various sheet music circa 1795-1810. Among them is a second song (not "Miss Bailey", titled "Ruddy Damon Laughing Said" from Colman's 1803 Love Laughs at Locksmiths. I know nothing else about this song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 10 - 05:06 PM

G. Colman is credited as author of Unfortunate Miss Bailey in The Universal Songster, or Museum of Mirth, 1832, vol. 1.

"Risk" a Colman pseudonym? It seems likely.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Oct 10 - 06:03 PM

Q
My first edition is dated 1825 and the song is at p312.
One of my copies gives the tune as
'The Golden Days of Good Queen Bess' probably Chappell.

It was printed by printers around the country in the first few years of the 19thc so it must have been popular. Angus of Newcastle, Ferraby of Hull, Walker of Durham, Marshall of Newcastle, Bass of Newcastle. I haven't seen a copy of the Laurie and Whittle broadside 1804 you mentioned. On broadsides and garlands its more common title was 'Miss Bailey's Ghost'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 10 - 08:15 PM

The Laurie and Whittle "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" is at the Bodleian, Harding B 10(1). At the end of the text in fine print is the date Feb. - 1804. I can't be sure that I am reading it accurately, but the listing at the Bodleian says "Feby 12, 1804."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 01 Oct 10 - 08:42 PM

FWIW:
John & Lucy Allison recorded UNFORTUNATE MISS BAILEY in their
KEYNOTE album (K-102 Early American Ballads), and HUNTERS OF
KENTUCKY in RCA VICTOR P-11 Ballads of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
These are 78rpm recordings, early 1940's. Each of these albums had a booklet of notes/texts - If someone has copies, do they give any background source information?
Thanks
Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: NOMADMan
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:33 AM

One other side note:
There is apparently a reference to the song in Chapter 9 of Charles Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit" (1843-44).

Referring to a young lad who turns up at Mrs. Todger's boarding house:

"At the period of which we write, he was generally known among the gentlemen as Bailey Junior, a name bestowed upon him in contradistinction, perhaps, to Old Bailey, and possibly as involving a recollection of an unfortunate lady of the same name, who perished by her own hand early in life, and has been immortalized in a ballad."

See James T. Lightwood, "Charles Dickens and Music," Chapter 6 for a brief discussion, but no new information.

Regards,
John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM

A further text in J Ashton Modern Street Ballads. I'll look for my transcription when I get home this evening, and see if Ashton made any footnotes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
From: GUEST,Kevin Andrew Murphy
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 02:32 PM

I just found these lyrics with an additional verse on another website here:

http://www.stolaf.edu/people/hend/songs/MissBaileysGhost.html

MISS BAILEY'S GHOST - London broadside, 1804

A captain bold from Halifax who dwelt in country quarters      D A7
Seduc'd a girl, who hang'd herself one Monday in her garters, D A7
His wicked conscience smited him, he lost his stomach daily, D G
He took to drinking ra-ta-fia and thought upon Miss Bailey,    A7 D

O, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey,      D A7 G D
O, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey.      G D A7 A7G

One night betimes he went to bed, for he had caught a fever,
Said he, "I am a handsome man, and I'm a gay deceiver."
His candle just at twelve o'clock began to burn quite paley,
A ghost stepped up to his bedside and said: "Behold Miss Bailey!"

"Avast, Miss Bailey," then he cried, "your face looks white and mealy"
"Dear Captain Smith," the ghost replied, "you've used me ungenteelly.
The coroner was hard on me because I acted frailly,
And Parson Biggs won't bury me though I'm a dead Miss Bailey."

"Miss Bailey, then, since you and I accounts must once for all close,
You'll find a five pound note there in my regimental small clothes.
'T-will bribe the sexton for your grave," The ghost then vanished gaily,
Crying "Bless you wicked Captain Smith, remember poor Miss Bailey."

Next morn' his man rapped on the door, his voice shook with emotion,
"Just how you're going to dress today I really have no notion.
Miss Bailey has your five pound note, the sum of all your riches,
And now she's vanished down the street inside your leather breeches!"


Given that the sequel ballad quite clearly references the breeches from the last verse, I'm thinking that this must be an authentic one. The humor is very good and of a piece with the rest of the ballad.


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