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Versions: Jealous Lover (Florella)


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(origins) Origins: Pearl Bryan (murder ballad) (38)
Lyr Req: Pearl Bryant (murder ballad) (7)

Joe Offer 15 Sep 04 - 02:43 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 04 - 04:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 04 - 05:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Sep 04 - 04:39 PM
Goose Gander 04 Mar 05 - 08:01 PM
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Subject: Versions: Jealous Lover (Florella)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 02:43 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has four "Jealous Lover" entries, and the Digital Tradition has three versions of the first variety. I'll crosslink what we have. Can anybody make sense out of the whole tangled web? Here's the Ballad Index entry:

Jealous Lover (I), The (Florella, Floella) (Pearl Bryan II) (Nell Cropsey II) [Laws F1A, B, C]

DESCRIPTION: The jealous lover lures (Florella/Pearl Bryan) into the woods with the promise that they will discuss wedding plans. Once there, he stabs her. When captured, he is imprisoned for life
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: murder prison jealousy death lover
Feb 1, 1896 - Discovery of the headless body of Pearl Bryan, killed along with her unborn child by Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling, near Fort Thomas, Kentucky
1901 - Murder of Ella Maude "Nellie" Cropsey, presumably by her former lover Jim Wilcox
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (25 citations):
Laws F1, "The Jealous Lover (Florella, Floella) (Pearl Bryan II) (Nell Cropsey II)"
Belden, pp. 324-330, "Florella (The Jealous Love)" (2 full texts plus 7 fragments which may be this piece and references to 9 others, 2 tunes)
Randolph 138, "The Jealous Lover" (7 texts plus 3 excerpts, 4 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 158-161, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 138A)
Eddy 104, "The Murdered Girl" (8 texts, 2 tunes; the D and E texts apparently belong here)
Gardner/Chickering 21, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text plus an excerpts and mention of 2 more, 1 tune)
Doerflinger, pp. 287-288, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 250, "Florella (The Jealous Lover)" (5 texts plus 7 excerpts, 2 framents, and mention of 9 more; Laws places the "A", "B", "C" (apparently), "H," and "L" texts with F1A and "U" with F1B)
Chappell-FSRA 64, "Nell Cropsey, IV" (1 text plus 2 fradments, 2 tunes, apparently a local adaption to the Nell Cropsey story, for which see Nell Cropsey (I); Chappell's seem to be the only known versions of this adaption)
Fuson, pp. 65-66, "Edward" (1 text, probably this although it has at least hints of the "Willow Garden" versions of "Rose Connolly")
Brewster 46, "Florella" (3 texts plus mention of 3 more, all of the F1A type though Laws does not list them); 61, "Pearl Bryan" (3 texts plus an excerpt and mention of 3 more; 1 tune; the "C" text is this piece (of the F1B group) while "A" and "B" are Laws F2)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 59-60, "The Fair Flo-ella" (1 text)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 180, "Florella" (1 text)
Burt, p. 31, "(Pearl Bryan)" (1 stanza)
Leach, pp. 787-789, "Fair Florella or The Jealous Lover" (2 texts)
McNeil-SFB2, pp. 85-87, "Pearl Bryan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Friedman, p. 203, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text)
Combs/Wilgus 63D, pp. 174-175, "Pearl Bryan" (1 text)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 137-138, "[Fair Ellen]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 29-31, "Fair Florella/Pearl Bryan" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 43, pp. 101-102, "The Jealous Lover"; pp. 102-103, "The Weeping Willow" (2 texts, of which the first is "The Jealous Lover (II)" but the second could well be this)
JHCox 38, "The Jealous Lover" (5 texts plus mentions of three more; of these, Laws identifies D and E as this song, belonging to the Pearl Bryan group)
JHCoxIIB, #5A-B, pp. 130-132, "The Jealous Lover," "Blue-Eyed Ellen" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune; the "A" fragment might be this or "The Jealous Lover (II)"; the "B" text is probably the latter)
Darling-NAS, pp. 197-198, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text)

Roud #500
Burnett & Rutherford, "Pearl Bryan" (Columbia 15113-D, 1927 (rec. 1926); on BurnRuth01)
Eugene Jemison, "Fair Florilla" (on Jem01)
David Miller, "Sweet Floetta" [Floella?] (Champion 15413, 1928/ Conqueror 7839, 1931)
cf. "The Lily of the West"
cf. "Pearl Bryan I" [Laws F2]
cf. "Pearl Bryan III" [Laws F3]
cf. "Pearl Bryan IV"
cf. "Nell Cropsey (I)" (subject of some versions) and references there
cf. "The Jealous Lover (II)"
The Philadelphia Lawyer (by Woody Guthrie) (File: Grnw283)
[The Drew Murder] (Hudson, no number or title, pp. 233-234)
The Lone, Lone Valley
Down in a Lone Valley
The Love Valley
Notes: The antecedents and relationships of this ballad are immensely complex, and cannot be described here. The reader is advised to check the cross-references for related pieces.
There is some debate over whether the ballad is in fact a "native American" piece. Although most of its present forms are uniquely American, Barry points to a connection with the British piece, "The Murder of Betty Smith."
(Belden also mentions a possible connection to T. H. Bayley's "She Never Blamed Him." This seems a stretch even in the versions where the girl forgives the murderer.)
Given the number of similar songs, the reader is advised to check references under Laws F2, Laws F3, "The Jealous Lover II," etc.
Fuller details on the story of Pearl Bryan may be found in the entry on Pearl Bryan (I) [Laws F2].
Laws breaks this ballad up into three subgroups. F1A is "The Jealous Lover" (Florella, Floella, Blue-Eyed Ella, etc.); F1B is the Pearl Bryan group; F1C is the Nell Cropsey song. I decided to "lump" the songs, however, as they differ in very little except names.
The "Pearl Bryan" versions of this song (Laws F1B) are told from other Pearl Bryan songs by a first verse similar to this:
Way down in yonder valley
There the violets fade and bloom,
There lies our own Pearl Bryan
In a cold and lonesome tomb. - RBW
File: LF01

Jealous Lover (II), The

DESCRIPTION: The jealous lover takes his girlfriend down to the woods. (She grows weary, and asks to return home.) He (tells her she will never return home, and) stabs her. With her dying breath she forgives him
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: murder jealousy
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Eddy 104, "The Jealous Lover" (8 texts, 2 tunes, but only the F, G, and H texts belong with this ballad; the others all go with the other ballads listed in the cross-references)
Hudson 62, pp. 185-187, "The Jealous Love" (2 texts plus mention of 8 more)
Lomax-ABFS 47, "The Lone Green Valley" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 43, pp. 101-102, "The Jealous Lover"; pp. 102-103, "The Weeping Willow" (2 texts, of which the first is this but the second is short and could well be Laws F1)
JHCox 38, "The Jealous Lover" (5 texts plus mentions of three more; of these, Laws identifies D and E as "The Jealous Lover (I)"; since he does not catalog the other three, it appears they belong here)
JHCoxIIB, #5A-B, pp. 130-132, "The Jealous Lover," "Blue-Eyed Ellen" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune; the "A" fragment might be this or "The Jealous Lover (I)"; the "B" text is probably this song)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 121-122, "Blue-Eyed Ellen, or The Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 122, "Come, Emily" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 198-199, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, filed with "The Jealous Lover (I) but belonging here by the criteria outlined below)

Roud #500
Kelly Harrell, "Blue Eyed Ella" (OKeh 7010, 1925; on KHarrell01)
cf. "Jealous Lover (I), The (Florella, Floella) (Pearl Bryan II) (Nell Cropsey II)" [Laws F1A, B, C]
cf. "The Banks of the Ohio" [LawsF5]
cf. "The Wexford Girl" [Laws P35]
Notes: Given the number of similar songs, the reader is advised to check references under Laws F1, Laws F2, Laws F3, etc.
The element that most clearly distinguishes this from "The Jealous Lover (I)" is that the girl forgives the murderer. At least, that's my guess, based on the "Jealous Lover" texts Laws does not catalog.
I agree, it's a mess; Laws accuses students of persistently confusing his F1 and F2, but gives no method for distinguishing them, and does not treat this close relative at all! If it were me, I'd lump the Jealous Lover songs; even if they originated separately, they trade verses at an incredible rate. - RBW
File: E104

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

"Jealous Lover" III is "Oxford City
"Jealous Lover" IV is "Lord Randal" [Child 12]
...and the Ballad Index has four entries for "Pearl Bryan." These murder ballads sure have a lot of overlap.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: ADD: The Murder of Betsy Smith
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 04:46 PM


Come all false-hearted young men, and listen to my song-
It's of a dreadful murder that lately has been done
On the body of a damsel fair, the truth I will unfold-
The bare relation of this deed will make your blood run cold.

Near Manchester, in Lancashire, this damsel she did dwell-
In service she long time had lived, till this to her befel.
Her cheeks were like the blushing rose all in the month of May
Until this wicked young man these words to her did say-

"Betsy, my charming creature, you have my heart ensnared!
And with solemn vows and promises his love he oft declared
Till by his false deluding tongue poor Betsy was beguiled,
And soon to her misfortune great, by him she proved with child.

On the nineteenth day of August this young man did repair,
Unto the town of Manchester, to meet his Betsy there;
Says, "Betsy, dear, come let us walk down in the flowery grove
And there the secret of my heart to you I will disclose.

But oh this wicked young man, a knife he did provide,
And all unknown to his true love concealed it by his side,
When to the fatal spot he came, he thus to her did say-
"All on this night, within this grove, I will your life betray."

On bended knees she then did fall in sorrow and despair,
And loud for mercy she did call- her cry did rend the air,
With clasped hands and uplift eyes, she cried: "O spare my life
And I never will ask of you to make me your wedded wife."

O then this wicked young man said, "No mercy will I show
Then took the knife all from his side and pierced her body through,
But still she smiling said to him, though trembling with fear,
"Oh! Thomas, Thomas, spare my life! think on your baby dear."

Twice more then with the fatal knife he pierced her body through;
Her throat was cut from ear to ear, most dreadful for to view,
Her arms and hands, and beauteous face, he cut and mangled so,
While down upon her lily white breast the crimson blood did flow.

Then soon this young man taken was, and unto prison sent,
In rattling chains he is confined, his crime for to lament.
Until the assizes do come on, where trembling he must stand
To answer for the deed he's done, waiting the dread command.

Firth c.17(113), no data (Manchester), and also McIntosh, Glasgow, 1849-1859 (not shown in detail). Bodleian Library, Catalogue of Ballads.

From Randolph, Ozark Folksongs: Barry, 1909, once claimed this as a native American ballad, but later pointed out its relation to "The Murder of Betsy Smith," published in England early in the 19th c.
It was common for these broadsides to be transported across the ocean and to be sold in America.

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Subject: RE: Versions: Jealous Lover (Florella)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 05:18 PM

Now the relationship to "Banks of the Ohio"---

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Subject: RE: Versions: Jealous Lover (Florella)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 04:39 PM

The National Library of Scotland has put on line an article on the broadside, "The Murder of Betsy Smith," which seems to be the antecedent of "Jealous Lover." The broadside by McIntosh of Glasgow is reproduced in facsimile, and given a date of mid-nineteenth century. The Bodleian copy of this broadside about a murder in Manchester is damaged.
Betsy Smith

The Library has some 250,000 broadsides. Subjects and titles may be searched on the index page: Broadside Index

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Subject: RE: Versions: Jealous Lover (Florella)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 08:01 PM

"The Murder of Betsy Smith" Glasgow broadside does seem to be the antecedent for "Pearl Bryan" Laws F2. But there are so many variants, and the Indiana / Kentucky connection might hold some clues as to specific North American versions. I'm interested in the less common Indiana version printed by Brewster. Brewster's "Pearl Bryant" 61C is fairly close to one of Vance Randolph's "Jealous Lover" texts from the Ozarks. But then compare the Dust Bowl version (Voices From the Dust Bowl)by Lois Judd with Brewster 61C. It's very close, practically the same. Judd says "About the first song I've ever learned, learned it in Kentucky"

So, there is a connection between Kentucky and Indiana regarding the circumstances upon which the ballad is based. There is a clear textual connection between Indiana and Kentucky versions.

Some possibilities:
Local print (rewrite?) by local ballad-maker migrates from one state to the other by manuscript or oral transmission.
A newspaper print of the text first in one state then the other.
Or a little of both.

Or am I missing something?

PS Sorry, I can't figure out how to hyperlink on this computer.

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