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Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)

DigiTrad:
ELFIN KNIGHT 3
ELFIN KNIGHT 4
ELFIN KNIGHT 5
ROSEMARY LANE
THE ELFIN KNIGHT 2


Related threads:
Tune Origin: Scarborough Fair (31)
Elfin Knight: Child #2 (14)
Lyr ADD: Cyril Tawney's The Tasks (Child # 2) (6)


Joe Offer 06 Apr 21 - 05:29 PM
Brian Peters 06 Apr 21 - 10:41 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Apr 21 - 09:55 AM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 21 - 07:24 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 21 - 08:41 AM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 21 - 01:51 AM
Bill D 18 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM
Lighter 18 Jul 05 - 11:22 AM
Roberto 18 Jul 05 - 09:21 AM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Jul 05 - 08:22 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 17 Jul 05 - 12:51 PM
Bill D 17 Jul 05 - 12:17 PM
Bill D 17 Jul 05 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 17 Jul 05 - 11:09 AM
Roberto 17 Jul 05 - 03:54 AM
Bill D 16 Jul 05 - 05:26 PM
Roberto 16 Jul 05 - 02:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM
Megan L 16 Jul 05 - 01:06 PM
Roberto 16 Jul 05 - 12:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 05:29 PM

Hi, Steve -

Mostly, that's a note for myself when I come across a thread and don't have time to work on it, like when I hear a song in a Zoom session and want to stay in the session and work on the song later. It's mostly proofreading lyrics, standardizing format and song titles, fixing line breaks. But it also brings the thread to the top in case anybody wants to add anything to it. This thread's almost done. It was titled "Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2" - but it contained more than Mary O'Hara's version. It seemed like a good candidate to be converted into an "origins" thread, with more complete information. I renamed and closed the earlier "origins" thread because it was just a collection of dead links.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 10:41 AM

I suspect that the confusion with 'The Devil's Courtship' arose because Child 2H and 2I were named by Motherwell as 'The Deil's Courtship' and 'The Deil's Courting' respectively. 2H is an innocuous 'Cambrick Shirt' variant, but 2I (from an Ayrshire collier) is more sinister: it belongs to the Elfin Knight / my plaid awa' strain, but instead of an elf knight, the protagonist is 'an auld, auld man' (probably the Devil) who responds to the lady's successful wit combat responses with the lines:

'My curse on those wha learned thee
This night I weend ye'd gane wi me'

'The Devil's Courtship' does indeed belong with 'Paper of Pins' / 'Keys of Canterbury'. I put together a version a few years back.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 09:55 AM

Hi Joe,
What sort of work did you have in mind? You seem to have a pretty comprehensive list of versions.

When trying to sort out the chronology of differing English and Scottish versions of a ballad/song there are all sorts of complications and very few clear paths to follow. The whole exercise is much clouded by the interference of the ballad editors and even the broadside writers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 07:24 PM

I wondered, too, Steve. I'm in the process of sorting things out, but won't have time for a couple days. I never have time on Sunday or Monday because I'm in Zoom sessions, so I do things quickly related to the songs I hear and clean up later.
I got misled by the Traditional Ballad Index. I saw the light after your post, and moved "The Devil's Courtship" here: I'm not completely comfortable with it in a "Paper of Pins" thread, but I'll leave it there for now.
In the meantime, we could use some more work on "Elfin Knight." No rest for the wicked.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 08:41 AM

Hi Joe, firstly, what has The Devil's Courtship got to do with The Elfin Knight? TDC is a version of The Paper of Pins/ the Keys of Canterbury/Heaven, Roud 573.

Secondly, Robert is not quite correct about 'Acre of Land'. It has its own autonomy and should rightly be classified as a separate song to Elfin Knight, BUT it is clearly derived from Elfin Knight and the evolution from one song to the other can be clearly traced.

Quite a few of what Bronson calls 'secondary versions' of Child Ballads are not even related to the ballad, but in this case 'Acre of Land' must be conceived as a secondary form of 'Elfin Knight'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Elfin Knight (Child #2)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 01:51 AM

Reinhard has a great page on Child #2: https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/scarboroughfair.html


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Elfin Knight, The [Child 2]

DESCRIPTION: A man (sometimes an "Elfin" knight) and a woman exchange tasks. He offers to marry her if she performs his (impossible) tasks; she shows how she feels by making equally unperformable requests
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1673 (broadside)
KEYWORDS: courting magic bargaining dialog paradox tasks
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber,Bord)) US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So,SW) Canada(Newf,West) Ireland
REFERENCES (65 citations):
Child 2, "The Elfin Knight" (13 texts)
Bronson 2, "The Elfin Knight" (56 versions plus 6 in addenda)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 2, "The Elfin Knight" (9 versions: #1, #3, #6, #15, #22, #23, #31, #36, #53)
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, pp. 12-13, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-FolkSongsCollectedBy-Ralph-VaughanWilliams, #18, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #
Kidson-TraditionalTunes, pp. 42-44,172, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Gardham-EastRidingSongster 7, 8, pp. 11-12, 44-45, "An Acre of Land" (5 texts, 2 tunes; the first four texts are "My Father Hand an Acre of Land" but the fifth text, on p. 45, is "The Elfin Knight" [Child 2])
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #100, pp. 1-2, "The Elfin Knight"; #103, p. 2, "The Elfin Knight" (3 texts plus 1 fragment)
Greig/Duncan2 329, "The Elfin Knight" (7 texts, 2 tunes) {A=Bronson's #1, B=#50}
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 84, "The Deil's Wooing" (1 text)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 3-11, "The Elfin Knight" (4 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #3, #23}
Wells-TheBalladTree, pp. 171-172, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 1 tune); pp. 172-173, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #44, #3}
Gray-SongsAndBalladsOfTheMaineLumberjacks, pp. 78-79, "Strawberry Lane" (1 text, from JAFL XXX, 1917)
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland1, pp. 51-78, "The Elfin Knight" (12 texts plus 3 fragments, not all from New England; 8 tunes; the "N" text appears to be "My Father Had an Acre of Land") {A=Bronson's #47C=Bronson's #6; F=Bronson's #45}
Ives-FolksongsFromMaine 20, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 1-3, "The Elfin Kinght" (3 texts)
Randolph 1, "The Cambric Shirt" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #40}
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 13-15, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 1A) {Bronson's #40}
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 1, "The Elfin Knight" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #39, #43}
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 47, "A True Lover of Mine" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #38}
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 176-179, "The Two Lovers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 2, pp. 8-13, "The Elfin Knight" (3 texts, all short, one reconstructed)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 1, "The Elfin Knight" (1 text plus an edited excerpt and a fragment)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 1, "The Elfin Knight" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 1, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 fragment)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #144, "The Elfin Knight" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #42}
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 2A-C, "The Cambric Shirt"; 2D, "Rosemary and Thyme" (3 texts plus 1 fragment, 4 tunes)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 4-6, "Rosemary One Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 1, "The Elfin Knight" (4 texts plus a fragment, though the "D" text is not a conversation but a series of requests from the singer to his mother; it may be a related song)
Flanders/Ballard/Brown/Barry-NewGreenMountainSongster, pp. 8-10, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #47}
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 194-196, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #6}
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 169-171, "Blow, Ye Winds, Blow or The Elfin Knight" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
Carey-MarylandFolkLegendsAndFolkSongs, p. 93, "Cambric Shirt" (1 short text)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 51-53, ""The Elfin Knight" (2 texts)
Peacock, pp. 6-7, "The Cambric Shirt" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 7, "The Elfin Knight" (2 texts)
Fowke/Johnston-FolkSongsOfCanada, pp. 138-139, "A True Lover of Mine" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #32}
Pottie/Ellis-FolksongsOfTheMaritimes, pp. 154-155, "WIttingham Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 40, "Petticoat Lane" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thompson-BodyBootsAndBritches-NewYorkStateFolktales, pp. 422-423, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text)
Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 15, "The Elfin Knight" (1 text)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 1 "The Elfin Knight" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #30, #48}
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 74, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #21}
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs1, "The Lovers' Tasks (The Elfin Knight)" (1 slightly edited text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #30}
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 12, "The Lover's Tasks, or Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #21}
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 4-5, "O Where Are You Going? I'm Going to Linn" (1 text, 1 tune)
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 2, "The Elfin Knight" (3 texts, 3 tunes, all rather degenerate)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 7, "Strawberry Lane" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #23, with some modifications}
Chase-AmericanFolkTalesAndSongs, pp. 112-113, "The Cambric Shirt" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart-FaberBookOfBallads, p. 26 ,"The Elfin Knight" (1 text)
Buchan-ABookOfScottishBallads 41, "The Elfin Knight" (1 text)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 1, "The Elfin Knight" (1 text, 1 tune)
Stokoe/Reay-SongsAndBalladsOfNorthernEngland, pp. 54-55, "Whittingham Fair" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #22, with key changed}
xOLochlainn-MoreIrishStreetBallads 99, "Rosemary Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 86, "Can you make me a cambric shirt" (2 texts)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #70, p. 79-80, "(Can you make me a cambric shirt)"
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, pp. 463-464, "The Elfin Knight"; pp. 464-465, "The Fairy Knight" (2 texts)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 19-23, "The Elfin Knight," "The Elfin Knight," "Every Rose Grows Merry in Time," "Flim-A-Lim-A-Lee" (4 texts)
Fireside-Book-of-Folk-Songs, p. 26, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 151, "Scarborough Fair" (1 text); p. 152, "Cambric Shirt" (1 text)
Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN821, "The elfin knight sits on yon hill"
DT 2, SCARFAIR*
ADDITIONAL: J. Barre Toelken, "'Riddles Wisely Expouded,''" article published 1966 in _Western Folklore_ (which, despite the title, is mostly about the riddling challengers in this song); republished on pp. 141-156 of Norm Cohen, editor, _All This for a Song_, Southern Folklife Collection, 2009
Tony Deane and Tony Shaw _The Folklore of Cornwall_, B. T. Batsford, 1975, p. 59, "(Can you plow me an acre of land)" (1 excerpt)
Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #312, "My Plaid Away" (1 excerpt)

Roud #12
RECORDINGS:
Sara Cleveland, "Every Rose Grows Merry in Time" (on SCleveland01) {Bronson's #34.1 in addenda}
Bob & Ron Copper, "An Acre of Land" (on FSB4)
George Decker, "The Cambric Shirt" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Liz Jefferies, "Rosemary Lane" (on Voice15, IREarlyBallads (as Elizabeth Jeffries))
Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, "The Elfin Knight" (on SCMacCollSeeger01)
Thomas Moran, "Strawberry Lane (The Elfin Knight)" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1)
Lawrence Older, "Flim-A-Lim-A-Lee" (on LOlder01)
Mrs. Clara Stevens, "The Cambric Shirt" (on PeacockCDROM)
Anna Underhill, "The Elfin Knight" (on FineTimes)
Margaret Winters, "Cambric Shirt" (on JThomas01)

BROADSIDES:
EngBdsdBA 32070, Pepys Misc 358, "The Wind Hath Blown my Plaid Away" or "A Discourse Between a Young Man and the Elphin-Knight" ("The Elphin Knight sits on yon hill He blows his horn both loud and shrill"), unknown, no date, accessed 09 Dec 2013. [cf. Child 2A]
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "My Father Had an Acre of Land" (theme)
cf. "O'er the Hills and Far Away (I)" (floating lyrics)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Devil's Courtship
Rosemary and Thyme
The Wind Hath Blown My Plaid Away
My Father Gave Me an Acre of Ground
The Parsley Vine
The Shirt of Lace
Redio-Tedio
The Laird o' Elfin
NOTES [363 words]: The song "My Father Had an Acre of Land" is sometimes listed as a variant of this, but falsely. The basic point of Child #2 is the dialog making impossible demands; in "My Father Had an Acre of Land," the song simply boasts of impossible deeds.
The famous Scarborough Fair surely predates the song; according to Kellett, p. 159, the event was first given a charter by King Henry II in 1161.
The now well-known refrain "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" does not appear original to the song, but has been associated with it at least since 1784, when a version appeared in Gammer Gurton's Garland.
The Opies think the song derives ultimately from a plot also found in the Gesta Romanorum, in which a king seeks a wife and wants to make sure of her competence. This is of course possible, but that version ends with the king wedding a clever but low-born girl, whereas this ballad tends to end with mutual rejection.
Although I had always assumed that the refrain of parsley (associated with women's genitalia and passions, although it also has ominous associations with death), sage (wisdom), rosemary (remembrance), and thyme (virginity or possibly frugality) was based on flower symbolism, sage, rosemary, and thyme are actually used in a recipe for spiced ale from the first half of the fifteenth century, found in the Paston papers (Castor, pp. 22-23). I have no idea if this is significant. Porter, p. 20, also lists an East Anglian claim that parsley, sage, and rosemary tended to grow best in the yards of wives who would bear girl children, so that the garden was used in an attempt at sex determination.
If the four are based on flower symbolism, they have interesting implications. Parsley and sage are both associated with women's power, according to Binney, p. 181: "A woman will dominate the house if... Parsley grows profusely, because 'Where parsley grows faster, the mistress is master.' [Or if] Rosemary flourishes in the garden, because this means 'the grey mare is the better horse.'" This is similar to the explanation given in the East Anglian folklore. Throw in sage and thyme and there is surely a message about wise virgins and dominating wives.... - RBW
Bibliography
  • Binney: Ruth Binney, Nature's Way: lore, legend, fact and fiction, David and Charles, 2006
  • Castor: Helen Castor, Blood & Roses: The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century, Faber & Faber, 2004
  • Porter: Enid Porter, The Folklore of East Anglia, Batsford, 1974
  • Kellett: Arnold Kellett, The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition, and Folklore, revised edition, Smith Settle, 2002
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM

indeed, Lighter...I suspected something like that might be involved when I saw a couple of different spellings in Scottish songbooks and Child....and when those spelling/pronunciations are mixed within a version by others attempting to make sense of it, it gets worse.

anyway, looks like there is enough info now to sing a passable version and explain it to an audience..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 11:22 AM

Okay, get ready. Traditional Aberdeenshire pronunciation is notorious elsewhere, partly because what is usually spelled "oo" in Scots is often pronounced "ee." (The spelling "ui" is often adopted to suggest this.) "Shoon / sheen" (shoes) is a good example.

So what's spelled "loof" (palm) should be pronounced as "leef"; and "gloof" (glove) as "gleef."

That may tidy things up in stanza 12.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 09:21 AM

I've seen Alexander Robb's tune on Bronson,and checked it is the one used by Ewan MacColl and Mary O'Hara. I didn't mean the text sung by MacColl and O'Hara was from Alexander Robb, but I admit that when I wrote "from the singing of Alexander Robb" I was inaccurate. Thanks to everybody, especially to Bill D, Mick Pearce, Malcolm Douglas, for solving this problem. R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 08:22 PM

I should imagine that Mary O'Hara got the song from Alexander Keith's Last Leaves, where three sets from Greig's collection are quoted. In fact she hasn't used Alexander Robb's text at all, but Bell Robertson's (omitting two verses). Miss Robertson had the verse that is puzzling you as

Ye maun winnow it on your loof,
And stack it all in yer right-hand glove.

"Loof" is "palm". O'Hara has made minor alterations to some verses, mostly by introducing extra words to make the rhythm more regular. From my point of view, these are of no more interest than, say, changes made by Britten in his arrangements of traditional songs; except, I suppose, insofar as people may learn songs from "art music" recordings and mistake them for the real thing.

As Mick mentions, verse 1 line 3 isn't "sae loud and shrill" but "baith loud and shrill" (actually Miss Robertson wrote "both", but of course Mary O'Hara is not singing this song in her natural accent, but in a carefully-rehearsed imitation Scottish one). "drt't" and whaet" are presumably typos for "dry 't" and "wheat".

Now, Bell Robertson didn't sing, though she knew the words to a lot of songs. The tune used is Alexander Robb's (a little elaborated), which is also in Last Leaves. I quote it below, with Robb's first verse, from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, II no 329A p 483.


X:1
T:Laird o' Elfin
S:Alexander Robb, New Deer, Aberdenshire 1908
B:Greig-Duncan Collection II no 329A p 483
Z:Noted by Gavin Greig
N:Aeolian
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:4/4
K:C
E3|E3 E c2 B2|A2 E E D3 z|E4 E4|D2 E G A2
w:The Laird o' El-fin stands on yon hill Ba ba ba lee-lie ba:
c d|e3 e c2 B2|A E3 D2 C D|E3 D C2 D2|E2 A2 A2|]
w:And he blows his trum-pet loud and shrill And the wind blows aye my plaid a-wa.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 12:51 PM

From Bill's mp3 here are some changes. Some are just putting in Scots words she sings to align with your other use of them, a few are substantive changes.

Mick




There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Blaws their trumpets baith loud and shrill
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin I'd his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And were in the lad's airms that I like best
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin ye would a-be wed wi' me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun dry it on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom sin* man was born (* or syne=since)
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the wheatsheaf dry tae me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun win* it in your luif    (*=winnow)
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And stack it a' in your richt-hand with
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

And gin you wark noo a' this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come tae me and you'll get your sark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 12:17 PM

ok, here is Mary O'Hara singing "The Elfin Knight..(I'll leave it up 'awhile', but not forever)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 11:54 AM

yes Bob, I will put up an MP3 of Mary O' Hara, so you can hear the details...hold on


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 11:09 AM

Would anyone be willing to post an ABC or midi of the Mary O'Hara (and presumably Robb) melody?

Thanks! Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 03:54 AM

Thank you all. Now, I think this could be the transcription of the 12th stanza:

Ye maun winny 't in your luif
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And stak it on your richt-hand gluf
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 05:26 PM

"Ye maun winny't in your ? (sounds like "leaf")

"loof" or "luif" which a book I have defines as "open hand"

'stak', I think, is 'sack' (word used in several versions)
the other word used in combination with 'loof/luif' is glove...but listening to Mary O'Hara, it doesn't sound like 'gloof', does it?

the closest I see are the versions that say either:

"Ye maun thresh 't atween your lufes,
And ye maun sack it atween your theis" (thighs)
or

"And ye maun sack it in your gluve
And ye maun winno't in your leuve"

I guess it was not always understood even BY Scottish speakers....and since ALL the 'suggestions' were impossible, I suppose any silly combination makes sense, hmmm?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 02:32 PM

The MacColl-Seeger recording you mention (through Stewie) is not a version of The Elfin Knight, but a different song. Ewan MacColl recorded the Elfin Knight we are talking about on Classic Scots Ballads (Tradition) and on his Folkways three-lps anthology of Child Ballads. The Mary O'Hara recording is almost the same as MacColl's, with slight differencies. Tha stanza I can't get is not in the MacColl's set, nor in Grieg. The version in Grieg was from Alexander Robb, Aberdeenshire, 1908 (The Laird o' Elfin). If a Scots speaking person is willing to help me, I could make him hear the part I can't get through a file. R

The Elfin Knight
Ewan MacColl, Classic Scots Ballads, Tradition TCD 1051 (recorded 1959; original release: TLP 1015). Learned from Gavin Grieg's Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs, 1925.

There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And they blaw their trumpets sae loud and shrill
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Gin I'd his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And was in the lad's arms that I like best
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Gin ye would be wed wi' me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun mak' me a linen sark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Without a stitch o' needlewark
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun wash it in yon draw-well
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Where water never sprang or fell
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun drt't on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom since man was born
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

And gin I mak'a sark for thee
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

My faither has an acre o' land
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Ye maun plough it wi' you ae hand
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun sow it wantin' corn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And roll it wi' a sheep's shank-bone
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun shear it wi' a scythe o' leather
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bind it wi' a peacock's feather
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the whaetsheaf dry to me
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

And gin ye wark noo all this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come to me and you'll get your sark
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM

Robb verse, "The Laird o' Elfin":
10.
And ye maun winny't in your nieves
Ba-ba-ba leelie ba
And ye maun seek it in your gloves
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa.
11.
And ye maun stook it on the sea
Ba-ba-ba leelie ba
And a dry sheaf ye maun bring to me
And the wind blaws ate my plaid awa.

From Bronson, pp. 7-8.

Quite different from the McColl-Peggy Seeger version posted by Stewie in thread 55899: The Elfin Knight


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Megan L
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 01:06 PM

Roberto the DT has that verse as

'And thou must winnow it in thy looff,
And also seek it in thy glove.
For thou must bring it over the sea,
And thou must bring it dry home to me.

if you want to compare several versions go to
here


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Subject: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 12:56 PM

The ballad is Child n°2. It seems the version is basically the one from the singing of Alexander Robb, Aberdeenshire, 1908, also recorded by Ewan MacColl. The main problem is with the 12th stanza. Please, help. THanks. R

The Elfin Knight
Mary O'Hara, Mary O'Hara's Scotland, C-Five Records C5CD 576

There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Blaw their trumpets sae loud and shrill
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin I'd his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And were in the lad's arms that I like best
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin ye would be wed wi' me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

I maun hae a fine linen sark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Without a stitch o' needlewark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun wash it in yon draw-well
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Where water never sprang nor fell
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun drt't on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom since man was born
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin I mak'a sark for thee
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun tae me dae
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

My faither has an acre o' land
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Ye maun ploo it wi' your ae hand
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun sow it wantin' corn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And roll it wi' a sheep's shank-bone
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun shear it wi' a scythe o' leather
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bind it wi' a peacock's feather
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the whaetsheaf dry tae me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun winny't in your ? (sounds like "leaf")
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And ? (sounds like "stak") it on your richt-hand ? (sounds like "weaf")
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

And gin you wark noo all this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come to me and you'll get your sark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'


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