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Leicestershire Maid / Leistershire Maid

DigiTrad:
BASKET OF EGGS
BRISK BUTCHER
EGGS AND BACON
QUARE BUNGLE RYE
THE CHRISTMAS GOOSE


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chamber maid stiffed for money (8)
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(DTStudy) DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs (15)
Tune Add: The Basket of Eggs (4)


Lynn 16 May 02 - 10:24 PM
Susan of DT 17 May 02 - 03:10 AM
GUEST,MCP 17 May 02 - 04:16 AM
Malcolm Douglas 17 May 02 - 06:36 AM
Joe Offer 23 Nov 16 - 04:37 PM
FreddyHeadey 23 Nov 16 - 05:45 PM
Joe Offer 23 Nov 16 - 07:01 PM
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Subject: Leistershire Maid
From: Lynn
Date: 16 May 02 - 10:24 PM

In an old Sing Out magazine I found a wonderful song called "The Leistershire Maid" about a barmaid who's taken advantage of by a traveller. The next day he gives her a crown for her favors. He returns a year later. The maid, now a single mom, plants the kid on his knee. He says, "What's this?" She replies, "Well, a year ago you gave me a crown for a night's pleasure. Here's your change." I'd love to learn the song, but have lost that copy of Sing OUt in my various moves. Sources, anyone??? Thanks!

The interest in the song goes a little deeper. My English cousins live in Leistershire.

Lynn


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Subject: RE: Leistershire Maid
From: Susan of DT
Date: 17 May 02 - 03:10 AM

We have at least 2 in the DT - the Christmas Goose and the Brisk Butcher. Neither gives much info on origins.


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Subject: RE: Leistershire Maid
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 17 May 02 - 04:16 AM

As Susan says, this is The Brisk Butcher in the DT. (A similar story is in The Christmas Goose, also in the DT)

The Bodleian library has 3 broadside copies of the Leicester chambermaid:

Leicester Chambermaid looks the clearest.

There is also Leicester Chambermaid

and Leicester Chambermaid (where the larger size did not seem to be available when I tried it).

Mick


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Subject: Leicestershire Maid
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 May 02 - 06:36 AM

Bodleian Library Broadsides  has 8 examples in total, if you count two variant prints by Harkness of Preston (the less legible of which is Mick's third link above). There isn't a lot of textual variation in them, and it seems likely that the song originated in the early 19th century as a product of the broadside press, though as Frank Purslow pointed out (The Brisk Young Butcher, Marrowbones, 1965), "the printers frequently rewrote popular old country songs".

The song seems to have been quite popular in tradition, and still turns up occasionally; for example, Roy Palmer (Everyman's Book of English Country Songs, 1979) prints a set from Yorkshire, The Brisk Young Butcher, noted in 1974. It also appears as The Butcher and Chambermaid, The Butcher's Frolic, The Manchester Chambermaid, The Copshawholm[e] Butcher, The Jolly Butcher, and, in Scotland, Aikey Fair and The Jolly Flesher. It is number 167 in Steve Roud's Folk Song Index.

Brisk Butcher in the DT was taken from a record by revival performers and no traditional source is named for it. Two tunes are given with no clear indication as to source; I don't recognise the first, but the second tune is note-for-note the same as that which appeared in Marrowbones, mentioned above; this was noted by H.E.D. Hammond from George Hatherill of Bath, Somerset, in 1906. The text given in Marrowbones was from another singer, Alfred Scannell (Mere Workhouse, Dorset, 1905) and differs in various respects from that recorded by Hart and Prior; they may have altered it themselves or used another version. If the second tune is to be used, it should be noted that there is a repeat of the final line of each verse, thus:

I'll go down into Leicestershire some cattle for to buy,
Some cattle for to buy,
I'll go down into Leicestershire some cattle for to buy.

The related song  The Christmas Goose  in the DT came, at one or two removes, from Lani Herrmann. No traditional source is named or tune given, which is a pity as I'm sure Lani will have said where she got it. I'm guessing that it's a Yorkshire set, either a slightly modified form of Arthur Howard's version or of Will Noble's (both from the Holme Valley). Number 3204 in the Roud Folk Song Index. There is a broadside example at the Bodleian:

Change for a Guinea; or, the Christmas Goose  Printer and date unknown.


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Subject: RE: Leicestershire Maid / Leistershire Maid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 04:37 PM

I keep thinking that Steeleye Span recorded a version of this song, but I can't remember the title they gave it and thus can't find the recording. Can somebody put me out of my misery and tell me the title they used?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Leicestershire Maid / Leistershire Maid
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 05:45 PM

Is it The Brisk Young Butcher?
Prior & Hart here

https://www.discogs.com/Steeleye-Span-The-Early-Years/release/2746400


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Subject: RE: Leicestershire Maid / Leistershire Maid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 07:01 PM

Thank you, Freddy. Here's a recording of the song by Hart and Prior:


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