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Lyr Add: Jolly Blade

Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 04 - 08:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Apr 04 - 08:17 PM
Wolfgang 11 Apr 04 - 05:17 PM
Wolfgang 14 Apr 04 - 03:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Apr 04 - 05:43 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: JOLLY BLADE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 08:38 PM

There are many names for the song known as "The Wild and Wicked Youth," "Rambling Boy," "Newry Highwayman," "Reckless Rambling Boy," etc. The version here is also mentioned with the "Unfortunate Rake" - "Buck's Elegy" and others of that group. It is mentioned in thread 21558, Newry Highwayman, and other theads.

Lyr. Add: The Jolly Blade

In Dublin city where I was born,
On Steven's Green must die in scorn
Tis there I learnt the baking trade*,
Where I was counted a rolling blade,
I came to London both fine and gay,
There spent my time on balls and plays,
And when my cash it did run low,
Straight to the spice* was forced to go.
Next took to me a pretty wife,
And lov'd her dear as I lov'd my life,
And to maintain her both fine and gay,
All the world shall richly pay.
I robb'd Lord Onslow I do declare,
And Lady Neptune in Monmouth Square,
I wish them good night and sat in my chair,
And with the spoils went to my dear,
O then to Dublin bore away,
With my flash blowing* so fine and gay
Where I napt four hundred pound so bright,
And with that spent many a jovial night,
And soon my fame it was well known
Robbing Hounslow and in the town
Till taken I was that I never knew,
Till taken I was inform'd it was done by you.
To me 'twas day and never night,
In thieving I took great delight,
Till old blind Fielding did me pursue
Attended I was by the jovial crew,
The judge's mercy I did extend,
To pardon my crimes that I might mend
I wish that I had obeyed the Lord
And never done anything but what is good.
My father weeps and makes his moan,
My mother cries my darling son,
My blowing* cries and tears her hair,
Where shall I go for the Lords knows where.
When I am cast and am going to die,
There's many a blowing* will for me cry
Your sighs and tears will not me save,
Nor keep me from the untimely grave.

*saddler in some versions. *on the spice- to become a highwayman or thief. * blowen (blowing)- A mistress or the whore of a gentleman of the scamp (being a thief or having other criminal occupation).

Bodleian Ballads, Harding B16 (338c), printed by J. Pitts, London, between 1802-1819.
Thread 21558: Newry Highwayman

Where did the version of Newry Highwayman in the DT come from?

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRISH ROBBER
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:17 PM


In Dublin City I was bred and born,
On Stephen's Green I died forlorn;
When first I learnt the Saddler's trade,
Was always called a roving blade.

At sixteen years I took a wife,
I lov'd her dearly as my life;
And to maintain her, fair and gay,
Lords, Dukes and earls, I did make pay.

For when my cash it did run low,
On the highway I was forc'd to go,
Where I robbed lords, and ladies bright,
And brought the gold to my heart's delight.

I never robbed a poor man yet,
Nor caused a poor man to fret;
But I robb'd the rich, and serv'd the poor,
Which has brought me to death's door.

Through Covent Garden, I stroll'd away,
With my sweet girl to see the play;
But Fielding's gang did me pursue,
Taken I was, by that cursed crew.

Now I am lost, condemm'd to die,
Many a fair maid for me doth cry;
But all their tears won't comfort me,
Nor save me from the fatal tree.

My father cries, I am undone!
My mother cries, O, darling son!
My blooming girl tears her golden hair,
Saying, where shall I flee? I'm in despair!

And now my passing bell doth toll,
The Lord have mercy on my soul;
Highwaymen, let my mourners be,
Give them Broadswords and liberty.

Six Dublin ladies, to bear my pall,
Give them white gowns, & pink ribbons all,
That they may say, and speak the truth,
There goes a bold, undaunted youth.

Printed by L. Deming, Boston, Mass., 19th c. (n. d.).
Printed in the United States, but copied from an English broadside, without cant language. Compare Newry Highwayman, Wild and Wicked Youth, etc. Last verse from The Unfortunate Rake, etc.
From American Memory.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Blade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 05:17 PM

I'm not at the place where my lyrics and records are, but the DT version sounds like the version the Johnstons have been singing many years ago. They usually give no source information on their records covers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Blade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 03:39 PM

Where did the version of Newry Highwayman in the DT come from?

With very minor changes and one verse missing it is the version from Colm O Lochlainn's 'More Irish Street Ballads' (if helpful, I could cite his notes on this song and his sources).

The missing verse is between verses 2 and 3 in the DT:

'Tis when my money it did grow low,
Upon the highway I was forced to go;
I robbed both Lords and Ladies bright
And brought their gold home (2) to my heart's delight.

The Johnstons, BTW, sing exactly the O Lochlainn verses. On their LP they have the following 'exhaustive' note: They write the song is 'self-explanatory' and that's it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Blade
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 05:43 PM

Wolfgang, thanks for the source of the DT song. Too many DT entries lack source.

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