Mudcat Café message #3860700 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161981   Message #3860700
Posted By: Richie
13-Jun-17 - 05:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
Subject: RE: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
Hi,

Here's the excerpt with Oikotype B, Scottish:

By adding traditional versions to the 10 stanza print version obviously it will add to out ur-ballad since "Sailing Trade" by Robert Chree of Aberdeenshire is a 11 full stanza. Two changes from print are obvious: 1) The traditional "What king of clothes does you Billie wear?" stanza replaces the "colour of amber" stanza and 2) the "Sailors mourn in black" stanza is missing and needs to be added. Christie's 1876 version has at least one stanza from his mother was probably supplemented by print stanzas. A traditional record is wanting of the two "on the lea" stanzas found in Christie's text. The traditional version by Maggie Stewart uses the "What a name" stanza (Two Hearts) and those 6 lines can't be included in the ur-ballad. The Died for love ending is rare in Scottish versions. Usually she throws herself on a rock and is presumed to drown. In Lucy Stewart's version she uses a rope:

She thrust her head up into a rope,
"Oh but where can I live since my Billie's gone?"

The main versions used in the UR ballad were the print version and Robert Chree's version.

Some Identifiers:

1) Sailing Trade is a weary trade (A sailor's life is a weary life)
2) Billie (sometimes Willie or William)
3) The grass does grow on every lea
4) The colour of amber
5) Father, Father build me a boat
6) man-of-war (tradition) also French ships
7) Thousands, thousands in a room (print)

The Sailing Trade (Ur-ballad Oikotype B)

1. The sailing trade is a weary life;
It's bereaved me of my heart's delight,
And left me here in tears to mourn,
Still waiting for my Billie's return.

2. It's where he's gone I cannot tell,
Nor in whose arms my love doth dwell,
But who enjoys him at this same time
Enjoys the fairest of all mankind.

3. The grass grows green where my love's been,
The little birds sing in ilka tree,
The nightingale in her cage doth sing
To welcome Willie in the spring.

4. Thousands, thousands all in a room,
My love he carries the brightest bloom;
He surely is some chosen one,
I will have him, or I'll have none.

5. The grass does grow on every lea,
The leaf doth fall from every tree;
How happy that small bird doth cry,
That has her true love by her lie.

6. Father, father, build me a boat,
That on the ocean I may float;
And at every ship that doth pass by,
I may enquire for my sailor boy.

7. She had not sail-ed long on the deep,
Till a man-of-war ship she chanced to meet,
"Oh captain, captain, pray tell me true,
Is my love Billie on board with you?

8. The colour of amber is my true love's hair
His red rosy cheeks doth my heart ensnare
His ruby lips are soft, and with charms,
I've lain many a night in his lovely arms.

9. I doubt, I doubt, and I rather fear,
That your dear Billie he's not here,
It was just last night, as the wind blew high,
It was then we lost a fine sailor boy."

10. The sailors they were all dressed in black,
The sailors they were right mournfully,
With their silken screen on their topmast high,
The wind did blow with a pleasant gale.

11. This fair maid she went to her home,
She has called for paper, and she has penned this song,
At ilka word she did shed a tear,
And at ilka line cried, "Billie dear!"

12. As she was walking on the quay,
A row of sailors she chanced to see,
With their jackets blue and their troosers white,
Just mind her on her heart's delight.

13. She wrang her hands, she tore her hair,
Just like a lover in despair,
Oot owre a rock herself she's thrown,
"How could I live, and my Billie gone?"

14. "Go dig me a grave so wide and so deep,
And cover me over with lilies so sweet
And in the middle a turtle dove
To let the world know I died for love.

The "Colour of Amber stanza" has been supplanted in tradition by the dialogue between the maid and the captain resulting in a number of variants which appear similarly:

What kind of clothes does your Billie wear?
What is the colour of your Billie's hair?
His jacket's blue and his troosers white,
And the colour o' his hair is my heart's delight.

* * * *

Richie