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happy? – Jan 24 (Faa sentenced to hang)

Abby Sale 24 Jan 06 - 08:41 AM
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Subject: happy? – Jan 24 (Faa sentenced to hang)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 08:41 AM

Child notes that on January 24, 1624, Captain Johnnë Faa & seven others were sentenced to be hanged for disobedience to the 1541 decree that all "Egyptians" quit England on pain of death. This gypsy chief (one of many Johnny Faas) was notorious & romantic and Child believes "The Gypsy Laddie" was written with him in mind and soon after his execution. Although there strong is evidence to the contrary, the lady eloping with him was strongly believed to be the Countess of Cassilis. A good myth is a good myth and worth retelling; Martin Carthy notes on his Broken Ground record the same story was being told of her descendent, the current Countess as late as 1991.

        There were three gypsies a come to my door,
        And down stairs ran this a-lady, O.
        One sang high and another sang low
        And the other sang bonny bonny Biscay O

                Child #200, ie "Gypsy Davie" or Blackjack Davie (#200) "... came a'riding down
                the plain," etc.

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
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