Mudcat Café message #3939809 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3939809
Posted By: Vic Smith
27-Jul-18 - 07:03 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
The Weaver (continued)

I would only have had to cross from my desk to my desk to my wall of bookshelves to pick out The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk songs* edited by Edith Fowke and turn to page 142 to find The Weaver. It has been there since we moved to Lewes in 1978. I have learned quite a number of songs from it, most notably Mary Ann. It is only today looking for Edith Fowke books on the North American shelves that I came across it.
The fact is that this song had slipped from my conciousness between around 1974 when I stopped singing it until now when the current turn of this thread to the discussion of 'Bertsongs' brought it back to my my mind so I had no reason to look it up and at I can confirm that the version given here is as on the album that John Bowden linked to.
I'll give a text scan of Edith Fowke's note on the song:-
6i. The Weaver Fowke TSSO 38 (Prestige/International 25014)
This much rarer ballad Mr Abbott learned from Dan Leahy, an Irish farm labourer, in Marchurst, Ontario, around 1890, when Leahy would have been about seventy. It has not been reported from oral tradition elsewhere, but a ten-stanza version appears in the nineteenth-century Jones-Conklin manuscript of an American sailor which Kenneth S. Goldstein is preparing for publication. The song apparently dates from the pre-industrial era when handleom weavers travelled from town to town weaving the yarn that housewives had spun. Both 'the Rose and the Crown' and 'the Diamond Twill' are traditional patterns listed in a British dictionary of the weaving trade.