Mudcat Café message #3659423 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155519   Message #3659423
Posted By: Richard Mellish
11-Sep-14 - 03:18 PM
Thread Name: Ballads not included in Child
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
(Thread drift warning)
MGM·Lion 10 Sep 14 - 11:54 AM said
> Cruel Ship's Carpenter is a version of The Demon Lover -- Child #243. Aka The House Carpenter. <

Some versions of 243 might perhaps carry the name "Cruel Ship's Carpenter", but that name primarily applies to the ballad otherwise known as "Pretty Polly" or "The Gosport Tragedy", Roud 15. See also Paul Slade's article.

Back on topic: it's clear that Child was unsure about what to include and what to exclude, and that his thinking evolved over the years. He certainly did include some very dodgy specimens but this thread has identified only a handful of really old ones that we could reasonably expect him to have been included if he had known of them. Obviously he excluded umpteen 18th and 19th century broadsides that probably didn't go back any earlier and therefore were outside his criteria.