Mudcat Café message #3620610 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153915   Message #3620610
Posted By: Richie
20-Apr-14 - 02:13 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 7
Hi,

I'm reviewing what I started less than three years ago-- which is publishing on my site-- the extant traditional versions of the Child ballads.

So I'm reviewing and adding additional US/Canada texts. These questions however are questions about the Two Sister Child 10. Here's the first one:

Child's Version Y is from Rev. Parson's which was sent to Percy in 1770.

However it is missing a stanza and has one added at the end. Here's Child Y:

'There was a king lived in the North Country'- Version Y; Child 10- The Twa Sisters
Communicated to Percy, April 7. 1770, and April 19, 1775, by the Rev. P. Parsons, of Wye, near Ashford, Kent: "taken down from the mouth of the spinning-wheel, if I may be allowed the expression." [The second stanza given by Parsons is missing from Child's text. An additional stanza has been added at the end which is not in Parson's original. "River's" brim has been changed to "sea-side" brim.]

   * * * * *
1    There was a king lived in the North Country,
      Hey down down dery[1] down
There was a king lived in the North Country,
      And the bough it was bent to me
There was a king lived in the North Country,
And he had daughters one, two, three.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

* * * * *

2    He gave the eldest a gay gold ring,
      Hey down down dery down
He gave the eldest a gay gold ring,
      And the bough it was bent to me
He gave the eldest a gay gold ring,
But he gave the younger a better thing.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

3    He bought the younger a beaver hat;
      Hey down down dery down
He bought the younger a beaver hat;
      And the bough it was bent to me
He bought the younger a beaver hat;
The eldest she thought much of that.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

4    'Oh sister, oh sister, let us go run,
      Hey down down dery down
'Oh sister, oh sister, let us go run,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Oh sister, oh sister, let us go run,
To see the ships come sailing along!'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

5    And when they got to the sea-side brim,
      Hey down down dery down
And when they got to the sea-side brim,
      And the bough it was bent to me
And when they got to the sea-side brim,
The eldest pushed the younger in.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

6    'Oh sister, oh sister, lend me your hand,
      Hey down down dery down
'Oh sister, oh sister, lend me your hand,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Oh sister, oh sister, lend me your hand,
I'll make you heir of my house and land.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

7    'I'll neither lend you my hand nor my glove,
      Hey down down dery down
'I'll neither lend you my hand nor my glove,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'I'll neither lend you my hand nor my glove,
Unless you grant me your true-love.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

8    Then down she sunk and away she swam,
      Hey down down dery down
Then down she sunk and away she swam,
      And the bough it was bent to me
Then down she sunk and away she swam,
Untill she came to the miller's mill-dam.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

9    The miller's daughter sat at the mill-door,
      Hey down down dery down
The miller's daughter sat at the mill-door,
      And the bough it was bent to me
The miller's daughter sat at the mill-door,
As fair as never was seen before.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

10    'Oh father, oh father, there swims a swan,
      Hey down down dery down
'Oh father, oh father, there swims a swan,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Oh father, oh father, there swims a swan,
Or else the body of a dead woman.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

11    The miller he ran with his fishing hook,
      Hey down down dery down
The miller he ran with his fishing hook,
      And the bough it was bent to me
The miller he ran with his fishing hook,
To pull the fair maid out o the brook.
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

12    'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      Hey down down dery down
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
For drowning of my sister Kate.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

After stanza one are some asterisks- this is where the missing verse is left off (Verse 2 as sent by Parsons):

2 The Eldest she had a Sweetheart came
Hey down &c
The Eldest &c
And the Bough &c
The Eldest &c
But he had a mind for the younger dame
I'll prove true &c

This verse is important in establishing a motive for the murder. But why was it left off?


The last verse was added on:

12    'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      Hey down down dery down
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
      And the bough it was bent to me
'Wee'll hang the miller upon the mill-gate,
For drowning of my sister Kate.'
      I'll prove true to my love,
      If my love will prove true to me.

It makes no sense really because the stanza before it is missing- about the miller taking the rings and pushing her back it. Where did this stanza come from? It's not in Parsons first letter to Percy, which I have a copy?

and lastly- the second line Parson's has spelled "derry" yet it's written "dery." Isn't 'dery' wrong?

and lastly stanza 5 has "seaside" crossed out and "river's" written above it- why would Child assume to know which one and why wouldn't it be notes?

Richie