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vaughan williams' lover's ghost

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Roberto 25 Jun 05 - 10:40 AM
Le Scaramouche 25 Jun 05 - 11:09 AM
Amos 25 Jun 05 - 11:10 AM
Roberto 25 Jun 05 - 02:14 PM
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Subject: vaughan williams' lover's ghost
From: Roberto
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 10:40 AM

I'd like to know how to class THE LOVER'S GHOST collected and arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, not THE GREY COCK, sung by Cecilia Costello (Child #248), but the song that starts with "Well Met, my own true love". Is it a variant of Child 243# (The Demon Lover), or what? Thank you. R

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Subject: RE: vaughan williams' lover's ghost
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 11:09 AM

No, not a variant as far as I'm aware.

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Subject: RE: vaughan williams' lover's ghost
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 11:10 AM

A.L. Lloyd sang The Demon Lover on the 1964 album by him and Ewan MacColl, English and Scottish Folk Ballads. This track is also on the expanded CD re-issue of 1996 and on the compilation Classic A.L. Lloyd. Lloyd wrote in the album sleeve notes:

In the 17th century a very popular ballad was printed by several broadside publishers, entitled: A Warning for Married Women, being an example of Mrs Jane Reynolds (a West country woman), born near Plymouth, who, having plighted her troth to a Seaman, was afterwards married to a Carpenter, and at last carried away by a Spirit, the manner how shall be presently recited. To a West-country tune called The Fair Maid of Bristol, Bateman, or John True. Samuel Pepys had this one in his collection also. It was a longish ballad (32 verses) but a very poor composition made by some hack poet. Perhaps the doggerel writer made his version on the basis of a fine ballad already current among folk singers. Or perhaps the folk singers took the printed song and in the course of passing it from mouth to mouth over the years and across the shires they re-shaped it into something of pride, dignity and terror. Whatever the case, the ballad has come down to us in far more handsome form than Pepys had it. Though very rarely met with nowadays, it was formerly well-known in Scotland as well as in England. For instance, Walter Scott included a good version in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1812 edn.). Generally the Scottish texts are better than the English ones, none of which tell the full story (we have filled out our version by borrowing some stanzas from Scottish sets of the ballad), but none of the Scottish tunes for it are as good those found in the South and West of England. Our present tune was noted by H. E. D. Hammond from Mrs Russell of Upway, near Dorchester, Dorset, in 1907. Cecil Sharp considered it "one of the finest Dorian airs" he had seen. Dr Vaughan Williams made a splendid choral setting of the opening verses of this ballad, which he called The Lover's Ghost.

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Subject: RE: vaughan williams' lover's ghost
From: Roberto
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 02:14 PM

Thank you, Amos. I have the recording you mention, with the notes you quote (I hadn't noticed them). So, it can be considered part of the Daemon Lover / House Carpenter family, Child #243. R

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