Mudcat Café message #3425704 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145512   Message #3425704
Posted By: Richie
25-Oct-12 - 12:21 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 3
Are people confused by No. 215? For example the Roud index, Max Hunter and The Child Collection list this under Child 215:

Fair Willie Drowned In Yarrow- As sung by Almeda Riddle, Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 23, 1965; Recorded by Max Hunter

My Willie's rare and Willie's fair
And Willie's wonderous bonnie
My Willie has promised he'd marry with me
If he ever did marry with any

O, Sister dear, I've had this dream
And I fear it means sorrow
I dreamed I was pulling heather green
On th bonnie banks of the Yarrow

Sister dear, I tell your dream
An' it doth mean sorrow
You'll get letter -- rare it is in
Your lovers' drowned in th Yarrow

She searched for 'im up stream, searched for 'im down
With much distress an' sorrow
And found 'im where willows grew
On th bonnie banks of Yarrow

Her hair it being three quarters long
The color it was yellow
She tied it around his middle small
An' pulled 'im from th Yarrow

Last night my bed was made full wide
Tonight I'll make it narrow
No man shall ever sleep by my side
Since Willie's drowned in th yarrow

By 1970 when she recorded the song for John Quincy Wolfe Jr., she had changed the title to "Banks of the Yarrow." Clearly this is version of 214 with the opening "Willie's rare" verse.