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Lyr Req: Roger the Miller and the Grey Mare

DigiTrad:
THE GREY MARE


Related thread:
Chord Req: Roger the miller and others (9)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Gay Jemmie, The Miller (from Vermont Folk-Songs and Ballads, Flanders & Brown, 1931)
Young Roger Esquire (from Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland)


anne....@vip.cybercity. dk 25 Jul 98 - 06:45 PM
26 Jul 98 - 09:12 AM
harpgirl 26 Jul 98 - 10:43 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 98 - 08:44 PM
26 Sep 98 - 05:32 AM
Bob Schwarer 28 Sep 98 - 08:43 AM
Susan-Marie 28 Sep 98 - 12:23 PM
anne.... 28 Sep 98 - 04:12 PM
harpgirl 28 Sep 98 - 08:31 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 98 - 01:27 AM
anne.... 29 Sep 98 - 03:23 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 Sep 03 - 01:43 PM
Joe Offer 25 Sep 03 - 10:21 PM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 12:34 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 12:40 AM
Sandy Paton 26 Sep 03 - 12:56 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 01:06 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 01:15 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 01:22 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 01:50 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 03 - 02:01 AM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Sep 03 - 12:35 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 03 - 01:27 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Sep 03 - 08:23 AM
Artful Codger 22 Jan 06 - 12:44 AM
Snuffy 22 Jan 06 - 07:33 AM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jan 06 - 01:00 PM
Snuffy 22 Jan 06 - 01:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jan 06 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Dr Price 22 Jan 06 - 07:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jan 06 - 07:25 PM
Artful Codger 22 Jan 06 - 09:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM
Fidjit 25 Jan 09 - 07:13 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 09 - 09:16 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM
Fidjit 25 Jan 09 - 11:46 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Jan 09 - 04:46 PM
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Subject: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: anne....@vip.cybercity. dk
Date: 25 Jul 98 - 06:45 PM

Can anyone help me with the lyrics to theese songs

Roger the Miller (Karan Casey)

Trouble in the fields (Frances Black)

Hej from Denmark anne....


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From:
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 09:12 AM

Hello Ann, I have the lyrics to Roger the Miller at home but since I am in south florida at the moment, when I return, I'll send them along...about Monday night . maybe someone else will have them before then....cheers harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 10:43 AM

Ann, I know Roger the Miller as THE GREY MARE and that is how it is listed in the DT...harp


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 98 - 08:44 PM

Hi, Anne - "Trouble in the Fields," by Nanci Griffith and Rick West, and be found at Cowpie
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From:
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 05:32 AM

Thanks to Joe Offer, Harpgirl etc. for you for your help. I have bee to Ireland, the reason my reply is so late anne....


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 08:43 AM

How was the "Himmicane" in S. Fla? We're here in central Fla & didn't get much(Lakeland). One of my boys is in New Orleans tho & I'll bet he's in the middle of some bad stuff.

Bob S.


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Subject: ADD: Roger the Miller
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 12:23 PM

The lyrics to The Grey Mare in the DT are not the ones Karan Casey sings, although its obviously the same song. Karan got her version from Frank Harte.

Roger the Miller

Young Roger the miller came courting of late,
To a farmer's fine daughter called beautiful Kate;
She had for her fortune a many fine things
Beautiful silks, and gold, diamond, and rings.
Her father he gave her a neat plot of ground
She also had a fortune, she also had a fortune of five hundred pounds

When the money and the supper, they both were laid down,
Well it was a great sight to see five hundred pound,
The sight of that money and beauty likewise
It made Roger's heart greedy and dazzled his eyes
He said "Now that your money and daughter is here,
Tis I will not have her, tis I will not have her Without that grey mare."

Then the money and supper were taken from sight,
And likewise young Kathy, his own heart's delight.
And Roger was taken and shown out the door
And ordered not for to come there any more,
Twas then he did tear at his long yellow hair
Saying "I wish that I'd never, I wish that I'd never spoke of the grey mare.

Now it was when six months were over and past
And Roger the miller he met with his lass.
"I think I do know you then, madam" said he,
"I am the same with you, sir" said she,
"A man with your features with long yellow hair
Well he once came a-courting, he once came a-courting my father's grey mare."

"Oh it was not a courting the gray mare I came,
By you my own jewel, my Kathy by name,
I thought that your father would never dispute
To give me the grey mare and you to boot,
And not to risk losing such a dutiful son,
But tis now I am sorry, tis now I am sorry For what I have done."

"For your sorrow, young Roger, I have little regard.
For there's plenty of men in this town to be had."
"If you forgot the gray mare you'd be married you see
But now you have neither the gray mare nor me."
"The price of that grey mare it was never so great.
Oh fare you well Roger, fare you well Roger, you're a sorrowful state."

Now Roger's away to his desolate home
He sighs as he sits there and sups all alone
And Kathy, she sings, she is happy and gay,
She has wed a young miller who works the long day
So lads when you're courting be always aware
To court with a young maid, to court with a young maid and not the gray mare.


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: anne....
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 04:12 PM

To Susan-Marie Thank's a lot for the text. (Tak for teksten) Anyway I bought the record "Songlines" Karan Casey it is super!!!!!

To BoB Is it due to my poor English, that I don't have any idea of what's going on??? Or are you crazy???


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 08:31 PM

Dear all,
I'm glad you posted the lyrics Susan Marie. I discovered the difference myself but got lazy (I'm famous for it) and decided to wait and see if anyone noticed.My face is red!! No hurricane over here thank the lord but I imagine your son is wet or hopefully evacuated Bob. Anne you are not crazy, I think Bob knows I am in a hurricane area in Florida and that I get scared! Cheers and I promise to be less lazy from now on ...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 01:27 AM

Hi, Anne - once upon a time, they named all hurricanes after girls (and I suppose you could pronounce that her-i-cane). In this day of equal rights, half of the storms are named for boys, and this one is named "Georges." Since this is a male storm, might it not be a him-i-cane?
Humor is the hardest part of a language to learn. I claim to be fluent in German. Wolfgang wants to keep me humble, so he sends me German jokes. I understand about half of them. Of course, I understand only about half of the American jokes I hear.
Maybe I should stick to Latin...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: anne....
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 03:23 AM

Hi to everybody I see now that, "the trouble in the field" is not only a title to a song for you, I'm sory for being so ignorent and hope for best. best wishes from anne....


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller, Trouble in the field.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 01:43 PM

To Update the link Harpgirl did, which no longer works...

Old Grey Mare

Trouble in the Field is in the Forum as well in two threads.

Trouble in the Field (with Chords)
Trouble in the Field


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Subject: ADD: Young Roger Esquire
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 10:21 PM

This version is from Kennedy, The Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1975).

YOUNG ROGER ESQUIRE

Young Roger Esquire came a-courting of late
To a rich farmer's daughter called beautiful Kate
She had fine precious clothing, she'd jewels and rich rings
And she for her fortune had many fine things
And she for her fortune had five thousand pound
With rich rings and jewels
With rich rings and jewels
And a piece of fine ground

The day being appointed and the money laid down
Was not that a fine fortune of five thousand pounds
If I marry your daughter I'll need the grey mare
Young Roger he swore that he would have his fair share
Young Roger he swore by his long curling hair
I'll not wed your daughter
I'll not wed your daughter
Without the grey mare

Then spoke up her father and thus say-ed he
I thought that you lov-ed my daughter indeed
The money again shall return to my purse
But as I have got her my daughter's no worse
But as I have got her thus far in my care
You shall not have my daughter
You shall not have my daughter
Nor yet the grey mare

Then twelve months being over and a little above
Young Roger Esquire met Katie his love
Saying: Katie, loving Katie, O don't you know me?
Such a man of your likeness I chance for to see
Such a man of your likeness with curling long hair
That once came a-courting
That once came a-courting
My father's grey mare

Says Roger to Katie them words I'll deny
And the truth of the story I will on you try
I'm now very sorry for what I have done
I thought that your father had lost a good son
I thought that your father would have made no dispute
But to give me his daughter
But to give me his daughter
And the grey mare to boot

Click to play


Alternate verses:
    from Frank Kidson, Traditional Tunes, 1891:
      The glittering money and beauty likewise
      Did tickle his fancy and dazzle his eyes
      Which caus-ed young Roger to tell of his mind
      And unto his lover be constant and kind
      That no other woman should ere be his bride
      For thou art my jewel
      For thou art my jewel
      My jewel and pride

      Then Roger that rascal was turned out of door
      And bid to begone and come there no more
      Then Roger he tore his locks of long hair
      And he wished he’d never stayed for the grey mare
      Then Roger he tore his locks of long hair
      And he wished he’d never stayed
      And he wished he’d never stayed
      For the grey mare


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Subject: ADD Version: Roger the Miller
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 12:34 AM

This is #761A from the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, from the singing of Miss Bell Robertson. The detail in this version is wonderful.

ROGER THE MILLER

Young Roger the miller has courted of late,
A farmer's braw daughter called beautiful Kate,
Whose wealthy portion was five hundred pounds,
Besides stores of riches and fine silken gowns.

Silk ribbons, fine laces, with diamond rings,
With symptoms of pearls and twenty fine things,
This amorous beauty and money likewise,
Has tackled his fancy and dazzled his eyes.

That he was obliged to tell her his mind,
Desiring he would prove lovely and kind,
For no other woman should ere be his wife,
For she was the jewel and the joy of his life.

He ofttimes repeated fine stories of love,
How constant he would be and how faithful he'd prove,
Till at length this poor lassie began to relent,
And with her friends' liking she gave her consent.

And all was agreed that the wedding should be,
With Roger her lover as plainly you'll see,
The day was appointed the money was told,
Which was a bright portion of silver and gold.

Young Roger he then to her father said,
It's I will not wed with this beautiful maid,
Altho' she be beautiful charming and fair,
Without the addition of Tib your gray mare.

Her father made answer unto him with speed,
I thought you was to marry my daughter indeed,
And not the gray mare but sure it is thus,
My money once more I will put in my purse.

And as I'm her father I'll solemnly swear,
I'll keep baith my money and Tib the gray mare;
The money soon vanished out of his sight,
And so did young Kitty his joy and delight.

And he like a blockhead was turned out of door,
Desiring him never to come any more;
Young Roger began his locks for to tear
And wish he had never stood for the gray mare.

Five days after or a little above
He chanced to meet with young Kitty his love,
He said, Lovely creature, do you not know me
If I'm not mistaken I've seen you, said she.

For one in your likeness with long yellow hair
Once came a-courtin' my father's gray mare,
Oh no, it was you that a-courting I came,
As sure as you're beautiful Kitty by name.

But I know, she said, for you need not deny't
For the truth of the matter was very well tried,
And unto my father you solemnly swore,
That you would not wed me without the gray mare.

But I must acknowledge you would have had both
That whiles for pleasure we might have rode,
Not thinking that there would be any dispute,
In giving his daughter the mare to the boot.

Before he had lost such a dutiful son;
But now I am sorry for what I have done;
She said, I'm not sorry, I value you not,
There is plenty of men in the world to be got.

But surely a man must be at his last prayer
Who would marry a girl for the sake of a mare
The price was not great
So farewell, Roger; go mourn for your mare.

(no tune for this one in Greig-Duncan)


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Subject: ADD Version: Rodger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 12:40 AM

Here's #761B from Greig-Duncan. Again, no tune.

RODGER THE MILLER

Rodger the miller came a-courting of late
A rich farmer's daughter called beautiful Kate
She had to her portion fine jewels and rings
She had to her portion fine jewels and rings
She had to her portion fine jewels and rings
She had to her portion — she had to her portion
Fifty fine things.

Extortions of gold would dazzle your eyes
With jewels and rings and twenty fine things
Now Roger the miller could no longer bide
Twas unto Miss Katie, his beautiful bride
Ye are my jewel, my joy and delight
There is no other woman — there is no other woman
Shall be my sweet bride.
Supper being over and the money down told
It was a fine portion of silver and gold
But suppose she be handsome and remarkable fair
But suppose she be handsome and remarkable fair
But suppose she be handsome and remarkable fair
I'll not wed your daughter — I'll not wed your daughter —
Without the gray mare.

Out spake her father and he spake with speed
I thought you had married my daughter indeed
But since it is so, the case is no worse
My money once more I will put in my purse
And since I am her father, I solemnly swear
You shan't have my daughter — you shan't have my daughter —
Nor yet the gray mare.

Now Rodger the miller was kicked out of door
That in there again he durst enter no more
Now Rodger tore down his locks of long hair
Now Rodger tore down his locks of long hair
Now Rodger tore down his locks of long hair
And wished he had never — and wished he had never —
Stood for the gray mare.

In a two years after, and a little above
Who met with Miss Katie, but Rodger her love,
It's Oh my dear jewel, oh don't you know me?
If I'm not mistaken, I've seen you, said she,
Or one in your likeness, with long yellow hair,
That once came a-courting that once came a-courting —
My father's gray mare.

I know that said Rodger, I stood for you both,
That once on a day . . . . . . . . .
I thought that your father would made little doubt
But give me his daughter and the gray mare to boot.
Before he had lost such a beautiful son
But now I am sorry but now I am sorry
For what I have done.

Your sorrow said Kate I value it not
There is young men in this world anew to be got
Sure, you are a man and a man in despair.
To marry a wife for the sake of a mare
The price of the gray mare would have no been so great
So fare ye wee! Rodger, so fare ye well Rodger
Go mourn for her sake.


from the singing of G. Kean


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 12:56 AM

There's a simple but effective Appalachian version on Folk-Legacy's "The Traditional Music of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, Vol. 2" (CD-23). I collected it from Lena Armstrong, who sings it on the recording, while she was living in Poteau, Oklahoma. She has since returned to her home on Beech Mountain.
    Sandy


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Subject: ADD Version My Father's Grey Mare
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 01:06 AM

There are American versions, too. This one is from Gardner/Chickering, Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan (1939). this version was sung in 1934 by Mr. A.T. Heikes of Kalaska, michigan. He learned the song in Windsor, Indiana. No tune for this vrsion.

MY FATHER'S GREY MARE

Young Roger the miller, who courted of late
The farmer's fair daughter, called beautiful Kate;
She had for her riches full fifty fine things;
She wore on her fingers fine jewels and rings.

Her eyes were as bright as the diamonds above,
And her cheeks like vermilion all painted with love;
Then Roger being greedy, as I do declare;
He spied an old tacky they called the gray mare.

"And as for your daughter, I solemnly swear,
I won't have your daughter without the gray mare."
The money was soon hurried out of his sight,
And so was Miss Katy, all his heart's delight.

Young Roger himself was kicked out of the door
And ordered straightway to return never more.
With sorrow he tore down his long yellow hair
And wished that he'd never asked for the mare.

Six months now were ended, full gone and past,
Young Roger he met with Miss Katy at last.
Saying, "Katy, O Katy, why don't you know me?"
"If I mistake not I've seen you," said she,

"Someone of your likeness with long yellow hair,
Who once came a-courting my daddy's gray mare."
"But since I have lost such a beautiful sum,
I'm really sorry for what I have done."

Saying, "As for your sorrow, I value it not;
There's plenty young men in this world to be got.
Besides, as I think, a man must be great in despair
Just to marry a girl for the price of a mare."


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Subject: ADD Version Jimmy the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 01:15 AM

'Young Jimmy the Miller.' From the manuscript of William Dresia of
Columbus, Kansas, compiled in the 70s of the last century and secured by Miss Lowry in 1909. From Belden, Ballads and songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society, 1940. No tune.

JIMMY THE MILLER

Young Jimmy the miller lie courted of late
A farmer's fair daughter called beautiful Kate.
She had for her portion fine jewels and rings,
Gay gold and silver, and many fine things.
She had for her portion
She had for her portion full fifty fine things.

Her glittering money and beauty likewise
Both tickled his fancy and dazzled his eyes,
So that he was obliged for to tell her his mind
That he would prove to her comfort and kind,
That no other woman should be his sweet bride.
She was a jewel
For she was a jewel and comfort, he cried.

The day was appointed, the money paid down;
It was a full portion of five hundred pound.
The preacher was sent for, this couple was dressed.
Says Jimmy to the father, 'I have one more request;
Although your daughter is comely and fair,
I won't have your daughter,
I won't have your daughter without the gray mare.'

The old man he angered, he angered in speed.
'I thought you had married my daughter indeed;
But since it's no better I'm glad it's no worse.
No more of my money you shall have from my purse;
You shan't have my daughter, I vow and declare,
You shan't have my daughter
You shan't have my daughter, neither the gray mare.'

Young Jimmy was turned straightway out of door
And charged for to never come back any more.
Young Jimmy he tore down his long yellow hair
And wished that he never
And wished that he never stood for the the gray mare.

In a year or two or somewhere about
He chanced for to meet with Miss Katy his love.
Says he, 'Miss Katy, it's don't you know me?'
'I have saw someone of your likeness, if I han't mistaking,' said she,
'A man of your likeness with long yellow hair
That once came a-courting
That once came a-couring my father's gray mare.'

''Twas not the gray mare a-courting I came,
It was Miss Katy, to call her by name;
But little did I think that your father would doubt
Of giving his daughter and gray mare to boot
For the sake of such a fine beautiful son.
But now I am sorrow,
But now I am sorrow for what I have done.'

'I care nothing for your sorrow, I value them not;
There is young men enough in this world to be got.
I think a young man would be in despair
To marry a wife for the sake of a mare.
The price of a mare is not so great.
So fare you well, Jimmy,
So fare you well, Jimmy, go mourn for your Kate.'


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Subject: ADD Version: Gay Jemmie the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 01:22 AM

This one is from Vermont Folk-Songs and Ballads (Flanders & Brown, 1931), and it has a tune.

Gay Jemmie, The Miller
RECORDED BY MRS. ALICE BROWN, July 17, 1930, in Bennington, Vermont, from the singing of Mrs. Fannie Hawkins, Windsor Home. The song was taught her, when a child, by an aunt, whose father (Steven Hawkins) kept the toll gate, between Arlington and Stratton, Vermont. Mrs. Hawkins was for many years a school teacher in Vermont, and she entered with zest into the sport of recalling old songs for the state.


GAY JEMMIE, THE MILLER

Gay Jemmie, the Miller, went courting of late
To a rich farmer's daughter called "beautiful Kate."
She had for her portion full five thousand pounds,
She had for her portion gay jewels and gowns,
She had for her portion full fifty fine things, She had for her portion,
She had for her portion,
She had for her portion gay jewels and rings.

The day was appointed, the money laid down,
Which proved the full value of five thousand pounds.
The parson was sent for, the couple were dressed,
Said Jem to her father, "I've one more regret
Although your daughter is lovely and fair,
I can't have your daughter,
I can't have your daughter,
I can't have your daughter without the gray mare."

The money soon vanished out of his sight
And likewise Miss Katie, his joy and delight,
And then like a dog he was kicked out of doors
And ordered never to come there more.
Then Jemmie, he tore his long yellow hair
And wished he had never,
And wished he had never,
And wished he had never stood for the gray mare.

A year or two after or somewheres about
He chanced to meet Katie, his joy and delight.
"How are you, Miss Katie, and don't you know me?"
"If I'm not mistaken, I've seen you," said she.
"Or somebody like you with long yellow hair,
Who once came a-courting,
Who once came a-courting,
Who once came a-courting my father's gray mare."

"Oh, 't was not the gray mare a-courting I came,
But it was to Miss Katie, so call-ed by name.
Little did I think, nor had I a doubt
That your father would give me the gray mare to boot
At the loss of such a dutiful son, But now I am sorry
But now I am sorry,
But now I am sorry for what I have done."

"With respect to your sorrows, I value them not.
There are young men enough in this world to be got
And I think that a man must be near despair
To marry a wife for the price of a mare.
The price of a mare cannot be so great,
So fare you well, Jemmie,
So fare you well, Jemmie,
So fare you well, Jemmie, go mourn for your Kate."

Click to play


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY FATHER'S GRAY MARE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 01:50 AM

Well, one last version, this one from Louise Pound's American Ballads and Songs. Text obtained from Vivian Cleaver Cleveland of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1914. No tune.

MY FATHER'S GRAY MARE

Young Roger the miller went courting of late
A farmer's fair daughter called Kate.

Her cheeks like vermilion all painted with love,
She was buxom and bonny and sweet as a dove.

Then Roger being greedy, I do declare,
He spied the nag they called the gray mare.

"As for your daughter I solemnly swear,
I won't have your daughter without the gray mare."

The old man rose up with anger and speed,
"I thought you'd have married my daughter indeed.

"But since it is so I am glad it is thus,
My money once more I'll put up in my purse.

"As for my daughter I solemnly swear
You can't have my daughter, no nor the gray mare."

When six months were ended, or something above
Young Roger he chanced to meet with his love.

"O," smiling, said Roger, "and don't you know me?"
"If I ain't mistaken, I've seen you," said she.

"A man of your likeness, with long yellow hair,
Did once come a-courting my father's gray mare."


I just took a moment to listen to Sandy's Lena Armstrong recording. It's delightful. Very simple and fairly short, but a very nice rendition.


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 02:01 AM

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.

Gray Mare, The [Laws P8]

DESCRIPTION: The miller gains Kate's love and is offered a large dowry. He also demands her father's gray mare. The father turns him out of the house for asking too much. When he later meets Kate, she tells him she wants no part of the man who preferred a mare to her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1889 (Baring-Gould)
KEYWORDS: courting dowry marriage
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE) Canada(Newf) Britain(Scotland,England(North,West),Wales) Ireland
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Laws P8, "The Gray Mare"
Belden, pp. 235-236, "The Gray Mare" (1 text plus mention of 1 more)
Eddy 63, "Young Rogers, The Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 718, "Young Rogers the Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H90, pp. 365-366, "The Grey Mare" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 144, "Young Roger Esquire" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 34, p. 80, "My Father's Gray Mare" (1 text)
DT 339, GREYMARE*

ALTERNATE TITLES:
Gay Jemmie, the Miller
Young Jimmy the Miller
File: LP08

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 12:35 PM

Bell Robertson didn't sing at all, which is why there are no tunes for any of her texts.

There are a number of broadside editions at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Young Roger and the gray mare


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 01:27 AM

Ach, you caught me in an invalid extrapolation, Malcolm. What was Bell Robertson's function? Her M.O.??
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 08:23 AM

Isabella Robertson worked as a maidservant; her employer was a one-armed, invalid man, and she'd probably have been called a housekeeper if the house in question hadn't been so small (two rooms, apparently). She got her keep and two pounds a year. She provided Greig with nearly 400 items in all; some she recited, others she wrote down and posted to him, if I remember right. She also wrote poetry -of the pious kind, I gather- and was published from time to time in local newspapers and the like. With backing from a Mrs Russell of Aden, she published a small book, Lays of Buchan. (David Buchan, The Ballad and the Folk, 1972, chapter 18: The Ballads of Bell Robertson.)


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 12:44 AM

To comment quite belatedly, hurricanes with men's names are called "maelstroms", of course.


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 07:33 AM

Phil Tanner's version (1937?,1948?) of YOUNG ROGER ESQUIRE is almost exactly word-for word as the version Joe posted from Kennedy, The Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1975).

However, Tanner consistently omits lines 3 and 4 of each verse (except in verse 4, which is exactly as in Kennedy). Did he really sing it like that, or did the record company deliberatley "edit" it to make it fit on a 78 record, making Kennedy's text an accurate record of Tanner's actual performance?

YOUNG ROGER ESQUIRE
as sung by Phil Tanner, Folktrax 057 Phil Tanner of the Gower

Young Roger, Esquire, came a-courting of late,
To a rich farmer's daughter called beautiful Kate;
And she for her fortune had five thousand pounds
With rich rings and jewels
With rich rings and jewels and a piece of fine ground.

The day being appointed and the money laid down,
Was not that a fine fortune of five thousand pound,
Young Roger he swore by his curly long hair
I'll not wed your daughter
I'll not wed your daughter without the grey mare."

Then spoke up her father and thus say-ed he,
"I thought that you love-d my daughter indeed.
But as I have got her thus far in my care
You shall not have my daughter
You shall not have my daughter nor yet the grey mare."

Twelve months being over and a little above
Young Roger, Esquire, met Katie, his love.
Saying:" Katie, loving Katie, O don't you know me?"
"Such a man of your likeness I chance for to see
Such a man of your likeness with curly long hair
That once came a-courting
That once came a-courting
My father's grey mare"

Says Roger to Katie, "Them words I'll deny
And the truth of the story I will on you try.
I thought that your father would have made no dispute
But to give me his daughter
But to give me his daughter
And the grey mare to boot"


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 01:00 PM

An interesting question, with no obvious answer. The recording was made for the BBC on 20 May 1949 (BBC recording 13387) and has been issued three times by EFDSS over the years, most recently on A Century of Song (EFDSSCD02, 1998); it also appears on The Gower Nightingale (Veteran VT145CD), which reckons to include all extant recordings. The 1949 recording is the only one Peter Kennedy mentions. It doesn't really sound edited; I suppose Mr Tanner might have been asked to shorten it by whoever recorded him for the BBC. Kennedy also includes a transcription of the tune for the lines missing from the recording, though; so where did that material come from?

"Dr Price" has done work on Phil Gower, and perhaps he may be able to throw some light on the puzzle.


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 01:51 PM

Phil Tanner sings verse 4 complete without cutting any lines, so presumably Kennedy's tune accurately reflects that.

If indeed the version in The Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1975) was actually collected from Tanner, as I have assumed. Does Kennedy state his source?


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 02:29 PM

Ah, I was forgetting verse 4. Kennedy's source is given as the 1949 Tanner BBC recording, which is the one on the Folktrax compilation you mentioned. There's no indication in the book that any interpolations have been made, but Kennedy quotes (notes, pp 335-6) a couple of verses from a text published by Frank Kidson (Traditional Tunes, 1891, 78-81): or, more precisely, he mis-quotes them, re-shaping them slightly so that they fit Tanner's tune. Perhaps the additional text was silently added from Kidson


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: GUEST,Dr Price
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 07:18 PM

There's a beautiful CD tribute to Phil Tanner, entitled "The Gower Nightingale", produced by Veteran. On it, he sings Young Roger Esquire and the handful of songs that the BBC didn't destroy. There are copious notes, essays and photographs about Phil - I'll get you the catalogue number!


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 07:25 PM

See my earlier link to Veteran's site for details. Were there other BBC recordings, then, that don't survive?


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 09:42 PM

It is an interesting theory that Tanner edited the song due to the requirements of the record company, but I think it more likely that someone simply eliminated the excess baggage that burdens down other renditions in order to improve the song. Tanner's version flows nicely, with no jarring bits suggestive of obvious deletions, further suggesting distillation rather than forced butchery.

Consider: if Tanner needed to abbreviate this song due to time constraints, he could simply have dropped the last verse, which, as Peter Bellamy observed, detracts from a ripping good punchline. Of course, Tanner may have felt this verse was necessary, since how often does one get the last word with a lawyer?

The fourth verse, in contrast to the others, seems to require the extra lines, not only for continuity, but to properly set up and dramatically defer the snap of her reply. These lines are fairly similar to those in several of the versions posted above. (Does anyone have the relevant lines from Kidson, for comparison?) If the lines were interpolated by Kennedy, wouldn't there have been a glaring gap of continuity in Tanner's version? Did Kennedy make similar odd line interpolations in other songs in his collection?--I assume not. The fact that these lines don't fit the overall verse pattern argues against their interpolation (though not necessarily their modification.)


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM

The fourth verse is as sung by Tanner on the only known recording of the song made by him. The other verses on the recording lack the additional lines quoted by Kennedy and ascribed to Tanner. Compare the transcriptions above if you are in doubt.

Either they were from Tanner and, for some reason, not included on his recording (and yet, by some unexplained means, known to Kennedy) or they were added by Kennedy from elsewhere. I have suggested that Kidson's B text is a possibility, but I don't know that to be the case; neither do I know why Kennedy makes no mention of the question of the additional lines, unless there is some comment included with such notes as may accompany the copy of the song on his own Folktrax label.

Kennedy does state on his website (http://www.folktrax.org/) that the song was recorded from Tanner in 1949 by Maud Karpeles (Kennedy's aunt) but he is not always accurate, and makes no mention in his book of her involvement in 1949, though other sources do mention that Karpeles was involved with the recordings made in 1937 (for which, see Veteran link above).


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Fidjit
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 07:13 AM

This horse should be dead by now.

Whatever ten years on from the first date of this discussion.

No mention of the EFDS publication. Frank Pursloe's collation of Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts, "Marrow Bones".

In my well thumbed version.

There it is.
The Grey Mare. Collected from a Alfred Oliver, Basingstoke, September 1907. Gardiner H 933

Mostly like Snuffy's version above.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 09:16 AM

Back to the original query - the song is also traditional to West Clare,
Karen Casey's version almost certainly came from the singing of Ollie Conway, a publican from Mullagh.
It tends to get the serious treatment from singers here.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM

Discussions like this one are never going to be fully comprehensive. Here we began with an enquiry about an arrangement recorded by a popular revival performer; although we learned that she had the song from Frank Harte, that line went no further; now, though, Jim has provided a traditional source for that version.

There followed a flurry of texts (none with tunes) from Scottish and American collections, and Joe copied-and-pasted the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index, which is now out of date. Here is a link to the current entry there, which has the advantage that it will still lead to future updated entries:

http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/LP08.html

The song is number 680 in the  Roud Folk Song Index, which provides the most extensive references to traditional versions in print and MS collections -and audio recordings where such exist- that you will find anywhere. There is no need to list them all here.

We then wandered off into discussion of Phil Tanner's set (referred to as 'Snuffy's version' in 'Fidjit's' post), and that was an end of it for the time.

Although an English song dating from the early C19 (just possibly the final years of the C18) it has been found far more often in the USA and Canada than in England. You'll notice that 'Roger' has become 'Jimmy' or 'Jemmy' in some of the American texts posted earlier; this change perhaps derives from a broadside edition printed by Nathaniel Coverly of Boston, where he is 'Young Johnny the miller'.

The set in Marrow Bones, like most oral versions, derives from the later English broadside form, rather shortened by comparison with early examples. Mr Oliver's text wasn't precisely as printed in the book; Frank Purslow amended it in places, and added most of the third verse, from another text (without tune) noted from a [Mr] Whittear somewhere in Hampshire in November 1906.

Marrow Bones was reprinted by EFDSS in 2007, fully revised and corrected, with extensive new notes on the songs and other background material. It is available from specialist outlets including http://folkshop.efdss.org/.


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Fidjit
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 11:46 AM

According to Pursloe. His references in 1965 are.

Baring.Gould & Fleetwood Shephard Songs of the West. 4 parts 1889,
2nd. ed. 1891 revised with Cecil Sharpe(Methuen, London)

Kidson F Traditional Tunes (Taphouse, Oxford 1891)
Kidson F. A Garland of English Folk Songs.
(Aschberg, Hopwood & Crew London 1926)
Kidson F. Folk Songs from the North Countrie
(Aschberg, Hopwood & Crew London 1927)

He does make comparison of the slower unforced humour.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 04:46 PM

Malcolm,
The differences between the early 19thc versions would suggest at least a late 18thc origin. The theme and style could even be Vauxhall or Ranelagh pleasure gardens origin, sung by an entertainer dressed in rustic clothes.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROGER THE MILLER AND THE GREY MARE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 11:35 AM

From the Bodleian broadside collection, Harding B 25(1645):


ROGER THE MILLER AND THE GREY MARE

Young Roger the miller courted of late
A farmer's fair daughter called beautiful Kate,
Whose wealthy portion was full fifty pounds,
Besides store of riches, with four silken gowns,
Rich ribbons, fine laces, with diamonds and rings,
With some pieces of apparel and twenty fine things—
This amorous beauty, and money likewise,
Which tickled his fancy and dazzled his eyes,

Till he was obliged to tell her his mind,
Desiring she would be loving and kind.
Then this lovely creature began to relent
And with her friends also she made consent.
As things were agreed that this wedding should be,
With Roger her true love and so they did agree,
The day was appointed and the money was told.
It was a fine portion of silver and gold.

But Roger unto her father he said:
"I wish not to marry this beautiful maid,
Although she is beautiful charming and fair,
Without you'll consent to give Fib your grey mare."
Her father made answer unto him with speed:
"I thought you'd have married my daughter indeed,
And not my grey mare, but since it is thus,
My money once more I'll put in my purse.

"And since I'm her father, I vow and declare
You shall neither have daughter nor Fib my grey mare."
Then the money soon vanished out of his sight,
And so did young Kitty, his joy and delight.
He like a blockhead was turned out of door
Forbidding him ever to come there any more.
Then Roger began his locks for to tear
And wished he had never stood for the grey mare.

About two years after or a little above,
He happened to meet young Kitty his love.
He said, "Lovely creature, do not you know me?"
"If I'm not mistaken, I've seen you," said she.
"Or one very like you with long yellow hair
That once came a-courting to my father's grey mare."
"No, it was unto you a-courting I came
As sure as you're beautiful Kitty by name."

"No, no," say Kitty, "you need not deny it.
The truth of that matter was very well tried,
For unto my father thou freely did swear
You'd not wed his daughter without the grey mare."
"I must now acknowledge I would have had both,
That sometimes with pleasure I might have rode forth,
Not thinking that he would make any dispute
By giving his daughter and the grey mare to boot,

"Before that he'd lose such a dutiful son,
But now I am sorry for what I have done."
"Be sorry," says Kate; "I value you not.
There's young men enough in this world to be got,
But surely that man must be at his last prayer
That will marry a wife for the sake of a mare.
The price of the mare was not very great,
So fare thee well, Roger; go mourn for thy Kate."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 01:48 AM

Two main variants of title: Roger The Miller or Young Roger Esquire. The DT uses the Miller title & name thruout, stating at the end that it was recorded by Peter Bellamy. Might just be worth pointing out in interests of accuracy & consistency that Pete in fact used the Esq title & nomenclature.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roger the Miller (The Grey Mare)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:06 AM

Pete also ended at "Once came a'courting my father's grey mare", saying that anything after such a great punchline was nothing but an anticlimax.


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