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Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'

06 Jun 14 - 07:16 PM (#3630932)
Subject: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: GUEST,sandynewlap

Has anyone heard Jean Ritchie's song titled "Locks and Keys"? Apparently it is on the 1953 release of "Jean Ritchie - Songs from Kentucky volumes 1 & 2" (Argo issue numbers: ARL 1012, ARL 1013; re-released same year as TM 17, ? 18) The song is not included in the US version of the LP released in 1957 (I've got that one). I've been searching online hoping to hear a snatch. Is it a variation of "Locks and Bolts"? Anyone know where I can hear it?


07 Jun 14 - 05:41 AM (#3631046)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

An intriguing one. I've just searched Steve Roud's folksong database and there is no song of that name listed. What's more I did an advanced search for anything which Jean Ritchie might have sung, with the word locks in the title. Again, nothing. Finally, I checked Songs from Kentucky and it came up with the interesting news that it had been released as Westminster WP 6037. This presumably is the US release which you mentioned? In any event, again, nothing.

The absence of Locks and Bolts from from the Westminster may be the result of their not being able to get two the two Argo LPs (10"?) onto a single 12" disc. But it is curious that she doesn't seem to have made any later recordings of this song.

Do let us know if you come up with anything.


07 Jun 14 - 11:57 AM (#3631148)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Steve Gardham

Nothing in Jean's Southern Appalachian book that could be interpreted as locks and keys. I don't think it would be related to Locks and Bolts Keys as that motif is very strong particularly in early broadside ballads and all of the versions I have seen the word 'bolts' is consistent.

I have seen 'locks and keys' used together as euphemisms, some versions of Chilbridge/Strawberry Fair for instance, but these haven't been found in America.

Could it be a local prison song?


07 Jun 14 - 12:06 PM (#3631149)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Sorry, my previous post said "The absence of Locks and Bolts". It should of course have said Keys.

IAE., I agree with Steve that this is unlikely to be anything to do with Locks and Bolts, simply because locks and bolts are what you imprison people with. Keys are what you use to let them out.


07 Jun 14 - 09:33 PM (#3631267)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Little Robyn

I know kytrad doesn't post here now but is there any way someone can send a message to Jean or her family? She's probably the only one who can answer your question.
Robyn


24 Oct 14 - 10:19 PM (#3671955)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Genie

Maybe Dan Schatz knows the song?


12 Aug 17 - 02:02 PM (#3871228)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Dan Schatz

Hah! That's irony for you - I was just doing an internet search for this song when I came on Sandy's thread.

Jean recorded this as "Locks and Bolts" on her "The Most Dulcimer" CD. I'm looking at learning it, possibly for an upcoming tour with Jean's son Jon Pickow and protege Susie Glaze this Spring. Guess I'll just have to get the lyrics by transcription....

Dan


12 Aug 17 - 02:28 PM (#3871230)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: GUEST,Philippa

re Fred McCormack's comment, "locks and bolts" is a song about a suitor who has to wrest his forbidden true love from (presumably) her family. "Oh love, oh love it's I'd be yours; but locks and bolts doth hinder." Love wins the day. I see no inconsistency with a song called "Locks and Keys"; indeed I also immediately thought of the Locks and Bolts song when I saw the title "Locks and Keys". I learned the song from Howie Burson and I don't remember his source.


12 Aug 17 - 02:49 PM (#3871233)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Jeri

I think it's unlikely you didn't try DigiTrad first, but: Locks and Bolts


12 Aug 17 - 04:33 PM (#3871252)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Reinhard

Fred didn't find a match three years ago but by now there is an entry for Locks and Keys in the Roud database. It is catalogued as Roud 406, as is "Locks and Bolts". It is from the Peter Hall Sound Colletcion and was sung by Maggie McPhee with the first line "I fell in love wi' a bonnie lass".


12 Aug 17 - 05:10 PM (#3871256)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Reinhard

This is possibly the same song that Maggie McPhee sang as "Back o' Benachie" as the title track of the 1968 Topic album Back o' Benachie.


12 Aug 17 - 07:22 PM (#3871274)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie's 'Locks & Keys'
From: Dan Schatz

Here's Locks and Bolts, which is the one I was looking for. The Ritchie family's tune is remarkably lovely.

Locks and Bolts
traditional, Ritchie Family version

I dreamed of my true love last night
All in my arms I held her
When I awoke it was a dream
I was forced to lie without her

Her yellow hair like links of gold
Came rollin' down the pillow
Her yellow hair like links of gold
Came rollin' down my pillow

I rode up to her uncle's hall
Inquiring for my darlin'
Her uncle said "There's no such here,"
Which set my heart to wonderin'

I turned my horse to ride away
She called down from a winder
And said, "My dear I'd be with you
But locks and bolts doth hinder."

My passion flew, my sword I drew
Into that room I ventured
My passion flew, my sword I drew
Into that room I entered

The blood was shed on every hand
I took her from among them
Come now, brave boys who'll have your love
You must fight till you overcome them,

Her yellow hair like links of gold
Comes rollin' down my pillow
Her yellow hair like links of gold
Comes rollin' down my pillow