Mudcat Café message #3957431 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165063   Message #3957431
Posted By: Richie
19-Oct-18 - 02:23 PM
Thread Name: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5
Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5

There a Swedish version of 33 stanzas, MS in Stephens' collection Stockholm circa 1640, that is Grundvig's A version. This half-comic version, that Taylor could not find, may be important. No one to my knowledge has seen this. If anyone can find (George) Stephens' collection online it would help. Grundtvig does not give the text just a brief description.

Taylor reasons that the British versions are older because of their "courtly" details such as the "hawk" and "hound" etc. while the Scandinavian versions feature a farmer (Sven) who washes horses in a stable. Clearly the Swedish versions date back before the 1640 parody and are chronologically older. The Scandinavian versions often have introductory stanzas while the British/US versions usually don't. Because of the similarity of the versions, it's likely they cam from the same ur-ballad.