Mudcat Café message #3957436 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165063   Message #3957436
Posted By: Richie
19-Oct-18 - 03:21 PM
Thread Name: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5
Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5
Hi,

The following English version with notes was given in "Two Songs and a Dance" in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Dec., 1938), pp. 203-210. I've dated it 1891. It was part of a "soulin play (mummer's play)" and importantly features an introductory stanza similar to the Scandinavian versions. Some of Gilcrhist's notes are:

The Cheshire Soul-caking play is the mumming play of St. George-more usually performed in other localities at Easter or Christmas. But the Tarvin version is remarkable for its introduction of two songs which have no connection with the play, one being "Jim the carter lad" and the other a traditional version of "Edward"! The latter is of extraordinary interest as the sole traditional version ever-as far as I am aware-recovered in England, Percy's and Motherwell's copies being in Scots dialect. No name is given to the tragic " my son," who is also nameless in the American versions, Appalachian and Virginian, which I have seen; and I suspect that Percy himself was responsible for an alteration of the homely "Son Davy, Son Davy" of Motherwell's version to " Edward, Edward." If so, it was an ill-considered improvement, as the name "Edward" was abhorrent to Scottish ears, the "proud usurper" even in Burns's day being associated with " chains and slaverie," and his name about the last to be bestowed upon an infant son. As the "Edward" ballad has hitherto been supposed to have perished in England (Motherwell's copy of 1827 being the latest extant) and as this traditional copy (given without any title) has turned up in a place where nobody would look for it, it is here given as written down -for Mr. J. K. Hudson c. 1891 by one of the actors, a lad of sixteen.

1. "And it's where hast thou been all this night long, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"I have been lying on yonder bull-rushes
Which lies beneath yond tree."

2. "And it's what are the spots on this thy coat, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"They are the spots of my poor brother's blood
Which lies beneath yonder tree."

3. "And it's what didst thou kill thy poor brother for, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"Because he killed two pretty little birds
Which flew from tree to tree."

4. And it's what will thy father say, when he comes, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"I will dress me up in sailor's clothes,
And my face he will never see."

5. "And it's what will thou do with thy pretty little wife, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"I will dress her up in ladies' clothes,
And she will sail along with me."

6. "And it's what will thou do with thy children three, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"I will leave them to my poor grandfather to rear,
And comfort (to) him (to be)."

7. "And it's when shall we see thy face again, my son?
Come tell it unto me."
"When the sun and moon shines both at once.-
And that shall never be."