Mudcat Café message #3608388 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153915   Message #3608388
Posted By: Richie
09-Mar-14 - 01:05 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
Subject: Origins: Origins: US version Child Ballads Part 7

I'm starting Part 7 which is a review of the US/Canada version of the 305 Child ballads.

I'm looking at Child No. 4 and need some help with "Western Tragedy". Apparently the earliest US version is title "western Tragedy" and is a broadside dated 1800 (Ford 3399). It begins:

O heard ye of a bloody knight
Liv'd in the west country,

Anyone have more info on this broadside. Another broadside: Two Excellent New Songs: I. The Irishman's Ramble: Or, Drunk at Night and Dry in the Morning. II. The Western Tragedy was printed in 1790 but I don't know where. Any info on the 1790 broadside?

In Scottish Ballad Poetry - Volume 3, 1893 - Page 227, George Eyre-Todd says: Motherwell in his Minstrelsy refers to other early copies entitled variously "The Western Tragedy" and "The Historical Ballad of May of Culzean."

Not aware of a broadside with this title. Anyone?

apparently it is Child D: (May Collin; False Sir John)

O HEARD ye of a bloody knight,
Lived in the south country?
For he has betrayed eight ladies fair
And drowned them in the sea.

Buchan has "west countrie" and a stall-copy lent to Child (D additions and corrections) by Mrs Alexander Forbes, Liberton, Edinburgh has:

Have ye not heard of fause Sir John,
Wha livd in the west country?

Anyone have a link to that stall-copy?