Mudcat Café message #3215812 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139929   Message #3215812
Posted By: GUEST,Lighter
31-Aug-11 - 07:49 AM
Thread Name: How old are the oldest Child ballads?
Subject: RE: How old are the oldest Child ballads?
Michaelr: fair question.

Child identifies 306 ballads. But he prints many more than 306 texts because a traditional ballad comes in more than one version.

Since "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads" was published in 1898, thousands more versions of something like two thirds of Child's 306 ballads have been collected.

Taylor found new evidence to suggest that a version of "Sir Aldnigar," unknown to Child, was sung in the twelfth century. If true, that would make "Sir Aldnigar" the oldest known "Child ballad."

The one known version of "Judas" is the oldest piece in Child's collection. But it is not necessarily the oldest "Child ballad."