Mudcat Café message #3957263 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165063   Message #3957263
Posted By: Richard Mellish
18-Oct-18 - 09:00 AM
Thread Name: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5
Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5
Considering how familiar we all are nowadays with Jeannie Robertson's version it is somewhat surprising that Carpenter didn't find any version this side of the Pond.

If we're considering Scandinavian versions I must (once again: I think I've mentioned it in a previous thread) point out Bronson's comment; "Archer Taylor has argued convincingly that the ballad passed from Britain to Scandinavia". We may never know for certain but I share Bronson's assessment of the argument.

Taylor's book is available as a facsimile reprint from Kessinger Publishing and I got myself a copy and one for the VWML.

There are several components to Taylor's argument for the direction of transmission including the change of atmosphere from nobility with their hounds and hawks in the British versions to a farmer grooming his horse or tending to his foals in Scandinavia.

It amuses me that Taylor quoted all the Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Swedish-Finnish versions without translation, apparently presuming that ballad scholars could sufficiently understand those languages, but did provide translations of the Finnish versions.

Some years ago I was at a small song workshop in Sweden and the song teacher, Eva Rune, sang a version of Sven i Rosengård, without any prior explanation. My Swedish is minimal, but I got a few words here and there, sufficient to guess what the ballad was about, and I responded with Jeannie's version.

I don't think Eva would object to my putting my recording on line if people would like to hear it.

That particular version has slightly different phraseology in two successive verses which translates exactly into English. In one verse "Hur är din fot så blodig?"; "Why is thy foot so bloody?", and in the next "Varför är ditt svärd så blodigt?"; "Wherefore is thy sword so bloodied?".