To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
17 messages

Penguin: Lovely Joan

19 Mar 00 - 12:58 AM (#197529)
Subject: Penguin: Lovely Joan ^^
From: Alan of Australia

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of Lovely Joan can be found here.


A fine young man it was indeed,
He was mounted on his milk-white steed;
He rode, he rode himself all alone,
Until he came to lovely Joan.

"Good morning to you, pretty maid"
And "Twice good morning, sir", she said.
He gave her a wink, she rolled her eye
Says he to himself,"I'll be there by and by."

"Oh don't you think those pooks of hay
A pretty place for us to play?
So come with me like a sweet young thing
And I'll give you my golden ring."

Then he pulled off his ring of gold
"My pretty little miss, do this behold.
I'd freely give it for your maidenhead
And her cheeks they blushed like the roses red."

"Give me that ring into my hand
And I will neither stay nor stand,
For this would do more good to me
Than twenty maidenheads," said she.

And as he made for the pooks of hay
She leaped on his horse and tore away
He called, he called, but it was all in vain
Young Joan she never looked back again.

She didn't think herself quite safe,
No, not till she came to her true love's gate.
She's robbed him of his horse and ring,
And left him to rage in the meadows green.

Sung by C. Jay, Acle, Norfolk (R.V.W. 1908)

See other versions here (a very similar one) and here.

Previous song: Lord Thomas And Fair Eleanor.
Next song: Lucy Wan.

Alan ^^

12 Feb 04 - 03:13 PM (#1115063)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Joe Offer

Here are the notes from Penguin:
    Lovely Joan (FSJ IV 90)
    Many of our amatory folk songs show a double sentiment of gaiety and irony that comes as a surprise to those expecting merely yokel quaintness. The young lady may show herself at a loss over the conduct of a false lover, but, confronted with importunity, she remains as a rule unruffled, completely mistress of herself. And if the subterfuges she adopts are of doubtful honesty, the implied judgement is that she is a smart girl and it serves that young fellow right. Thus, "Lovely Joan" seems to be sister to such resourceful girls as the heroine of the Broomfield Hill or of the traditional sets of Blow Away the Morning Dew. The song has been taken from oral tradition in Sussex (FSJ I 270), Suffolk (FSJ IV 330), Somerset (SFS IV 48), and Wiltshire (WUP 46). The text, hitherto published only in modified form, is completed here from the MS collection of Cecil Sharp.

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Lovely Joan

DESCRIPTION: Young man, out riding, comes upon Joan. He offers her a ring/purse of gold in return for a roll in the hay; she says the ring is more use to her than 20 maidenheads. She takes the ring, then hops on his horse and rides off to her true love's gate.
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: virtue seduction bargaining trick virginity
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Sharp-100E 57, "Sweet Lovely Joan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 64, "Lovely Joan" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #592
cf. "The Broomfield Hill" (Child 43) and references there
Notes: Damn fool. -PJS
In Sharp's bowdlerized version, the young man asks Joan to marry him and says that the purse of gold is worth more than twenty husbands! - (PJS)
File: ShH57

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

And the entry from

    LOVELY JOAN - "as she sat milking all alone" - "One noble knight it was indeed mounted on his milk-white steed" - Offers his purse of gold in exchange for her maidenhead, but she says that although she is to be married on the morrow, the gold will be better than 20 husbands - while he is looking around for a bed she jumps on his horse and rides to her truelovers gate, leaving the knight without horse or gold and the empty purse to hold - ROUD#592 - BSs incl BG 1:1:#59/ 9:#200 - CHAPPELL NEA 1838 "Common ballad air" - SHARP-MARSON EFSS 4 pp48-9 James Proll, Monksilver, Somerset - SHARP-KARPELES CSC 1974 #212 p60 Jim Proll "Sweet LJ" - MERRICK FSFS 1912 Henry Hills, Lodsworth, Sussex - JFSS 1:5 1904 p270 Merrick: Henry Hills 1v/m "One Noble Knight" (rest of "Words objectionable") - JFSS 2:4 (15) 1910 p90 RVW: Christopher Jay, Acle, Norfolk 1908 (last v) {This is the tune used in George Butterworth's "Folksong Suite") - JFSS 4 1913 pp330-1 William Hurr, Southwold, Suffolk 1919 - WILLIAMS FSUT 1923 pp46-7 #469 David Sawyer, Ogbourne, Wiltsh 10v (w/o) "Sweet LJ" - PENGUIN BEFS 1959 p64 RVW: Christopher Jay 8v/m - SEDLEY 1967 Words of "Crafty Maid's Policy" (3v only) Crampton/ Merrick - PURSLOW CL 1972 p95 Gardiner: Mrs Hall, North Waltham, Hampsh 1909 10v "Sweet LJ" - PALMER EBECS 1979 #64 pp120-1 RVW: Christopher Jay, Acle, Norfolk 1908 5v - PALMER RVW 1983 #82 pp127-8 William Hurr, Southwold, Suffolk 1919 -- Shirley & Dolly COLLINS (flute organ): POLYDOR 582-025 1968 (from RVW) - Andrew CRONSHAW (instrum): TRANSATLANTIC XTRA-1139 1974 - SPREDTHICK (Group) rec by PK, Dartington, Devon 1975 - Polly BOLTON & group with women's voices Radio 2 17/10/90 CASS-60-1017 - Jo FREYA SAYDISC SDL-402 (CD) 1993

12 Feb 04 - 03:29 PM (#1115070)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: pavane

There are several (longer) versions as broadsides in the Bodley collection. In these, she is sitting milking when the 'knight' arrives.

Here is an example
Lovely Joan

12 Feb 04 - 10:42 PM (#1115110)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Malcolm Douglas

For more detailed references and some commentary on the sources of material introduced into this text from elsewhere, see the recent revised edition of Penguin, available from the English Folk Dance and Song Society as

Classic English Folk Songs.

27 Jun 06 - 11:28 AM (#1770241)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: pavane

This broadside seems to be on a related theme:

The frolicksome maiden

28 Jun 06 - 12:11 AM (#1770825)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Malcolm Douglas

Unrelated to 'Lovely Joan' (though Stephen Sedley -see ref above- managed to confuse the two quite spectacularly; his text is in the DT but shouldn't be mistaken for a traditional song) but yes, the general theme was a common one and a number of songs dealt with it in different ways. This one is more usually called 'The Crafty Maid's Policy': number 1624 in the Roud Folk Song Index.

Since this old thread has been revived, I may as well add that I think that the Traditional Ballad Index entry quoted above is one of their less glorious achievements. Perhaps it has been improved by now with reference to authentic texts; if "PJS" had done his homework, he would have known that "twenty husbands" was the old broadside form. Sharp used that, rather than Jim Proll's "twenty maidenheads", because he would never have got the thing published otherwise.

It's probably best to link to TBI files rather than copy-and-pasting them. That way, the information is updated when the files are, instead of outdated stuff being perpetuated here. We have enough of that in the DT, after all.

28 Jun 06 - 07:24 AM (#1770998)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

Bob Lewis sings a very nice alternative to the Penguin version on this Veteran recording:

28 Jun 06 - 07:00 PM (#1771505)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

The Ed Pellow renditions. I wonder if someone can tell me where these are stored please? I've met Ed - used to live locally to me - but have lost track of him and wondered if all the tunes are available in this format.

25 Nov 06 - 09:04 PM (#1893624)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: GUEST,aom

pooks in lovely joan what is the meaning?

25 Nov 06 - 10:15 PM (#1893652)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Alice

Hay stacks

26 Nov 06 - 08:07 AM (#1893861)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Mo the caller

I've heard hay stacks called stooks so the jump from there to pooks isn't so big.

27 Nov 06 - 06:45 PM (#1894064)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Malcolm Douglas

Stooks are a lot smaller than stacks; I'm not entirely sure what "pooks" are in this context, but it's worth mentioning that they don't belong in 'Lovely Joan' at all; Bert Lloyd transplanted a verse from a completely unrelated song ('Blow away the Morning Dew') for reasons of his own. It was a Somerset version, so I'd look for "pooks" in a good dialect dictionary.

27 Nov 06 - 07:19 PM (#1894094)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Liz the Squeak

Pooks or stooks are the sheaves of hay before they're gathered up into one large hay mound or barn. They're usually 4 or more bundles of hay that have each been tied up into something that one person can get their arms around, or easily lift on a pitchfork.

I'm sure there's a Constable picture out there of a hay field dotted about with what looks like triangular stooks of hay or corn... they're waiting for the threshing machine or the hay wagon to come along, but they make cosy little nests for one or two people to be secluded if not actually private in. The danger in using the full sized haymound or stack, is that if it's badly made and you're extra vigourous, it could collapse on top of you.


27 Nov 06 - 08:19 PM (#1894142)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Guy Wolff

Hello All,
            You know I always seem to get this stuff wrong . When I recorded "Lovely Joan" I was not shore of the meaning of   - - -ooks of Hay   and looked up the word as my wife Erica and I thought I remembered and reasonable . We went with Shooks but I did not see Stooks at the time or I probably would have used that . Since Penguin had Pooks I guess I should have gone with that . I did notice a year later Martin Carthy used "Pooks" on his recording .
          Below is a little from google to show the confusion .. All the best , Guy

Pooks :

Oh don't you think these pooks of hay
Who regretted not playing in pooks of hay?
A-meäkèn up their tiny pooks.
he caught sight of a bevy of women seated among the hay-pooks



            Alternatively, the loose hay could be put into stooks or sheafs for drying before being collected.
Scottish :
               threshing machine at work and men making stooks of hay,
Cumbria :
               The art of swinging a scythe is lost and the stooks of hay ...
               1708   John Hinshaw - 5 stooks of wheat and barley, 13 stooks of oats, and 3 small loads of hay, 12 shillings.

             All the hay, oats, swedes, etc also had to be dragged up by horse and cart, ... being kicked out ready to be put into shooks of four or six for harvesting.

             n : a disassembled barrel; the parts packed for storage or shipment

             Both the strips and shooks were fastened with wooden pins. Poles or fence rails were laid on the ground in the mows to keep the hay and grain from moulding. ...
             Shooks and staves.
               yellow corn shooks
             worked for our ancesters is to harvest your crops into shooks.

27 Nov 06 - 08:20 PM (#1894145)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Guy Wolff

Thanks Liz by the way !!!

28 Nov 06 - 04:43 AM (#1894357)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan

Pook - a cock of hay (Somerset)
To pook hay or barley - to make it up into cocks
(Dictionary of Archaic and Provintial Words, Halliwell, 1901).
Jim Carroll

28 Nov 06 - 10:59 AM (#1894664)
Subject: RE: Penguin: Lovely Joan
From: Snuffy

Aw shucks.