Mudcat Café message #3366928 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145512   Message #3366928
Posted By: Richie
22-Jun-12 - 11:32 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3

Thanks for the info on Uneda.

Here's the 1799 version without the commentary:


Lady Alice was sitting at her bow-window,   
Amending her night-coif;
And there she law the finest corpse   
That ever she saw in her life.

Lady Alice she laid to the four tall bearers,   
"What bear you on your shoulders?"
"It is the body of Giles Collins,
An old true lover of yours."

"Set him down, set him down," Lady Alice she said;
"Set him down on the grass so trim;
For before the clock it doth strike twelve,
My body shall lie by him."

Lady Alice she then put on her night-coif,   
Which fitted her wond 'roufly well;
She cut her throat with a sharp pen-knise,
As the four tall bearers can tell.

Lady Alice was buried in the east church-yard,
Giles Collins was buried in the south;
And there came a lilly out of Giles Collins's nose,
Which reach'd Lady Alice's mouth.

Except for the "lilly out of Giles Collins's nose" is seems like a fairly straight forward version. I assume this would be the earliest published version. Predating Child's and even Uneda's which he heard in Philadephia when he was 8 years old in 1816. It seems likely that he learned this from his father who grew up in Ireland.