Mudcat Café message #757073 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50004   Message #757073
Posted By: Joe Offer
30-Jul-02 - 03:17 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Lady Mary / Palace Grand / The Sad Song
Subject: Origins: Lady Mary / Palace Grand / The Sad Song
There sure isn't much in the Traditional Ballad Index. Here's the entry.
-Joe Offer-
Lady Mary (The Sad Song)

Lady Mary (The Sad Song)

DESCRIPTION: "He came from his palace grand And he came to my cottage door... But I was nothing to him, Though he was the world to me." She desperately loved him; now he is dead, but she has no excuse for mourning. She wonders if, in heaven, he will still ignore her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (collected by Sandburg)
KEYWORDS: death love beauty
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph 698, "The Sad Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 522-524, "The Sad Song" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 698)

Roud #6358
Bud Skidmore, "The Sad Song" (Columbia 15761-D, 1932)
cf. "We Met, 'Twas In a Crowd"
Palace Grand
Notes: This has been quite popular in the folk revival; it appears that most if not all of these versions derive from the May Kennedy McCord collected by Randolph and Hunter; she also gave it to Evelyn Beers. Bush's printing also derives from McCord. Thus although there are a few other versions of the song known (from Owens and Sandburg), if you've heard this song, the version you know almost certainly comes from McCord. - RBW
File: R698

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

For the sake of comparison, here is the version from the Digital Tradition:


He came from his palace grand
He came to my cottage door
His words were few but his looks
Will linger for ever more
The look in his sad dark eyes
More tender than words could be
But I was nothing to him
And he was the world to me

There in her garden she stands
All dressed in fine satin and lace
Lady Mary so cold and so strange
Who finds in her heart no place
He knew I would be his bride
With a kiss for a lifetime fee
But I was nothing to him
And he was the world to me

And now in his palace grand
on a flower strewn bed he lies
His beautiful lids are closed
Over his sad dark eyes
And among the mourners who mourn
Why should I a mourner be
When I was nothing to him
And he was the world to me

And how will it be with our souls
When we meet in that spirit land
What the human heart ne'er knows
Will the spirit then understand
Or in some celestial form
Will our sorrows repeated be
Will I still be nothing to him
Though he is the world to me

@love @death
Note: Sandburg, who collected this in Missouri in 1930, always
called it "the Sad Song". RG
recorded by Joan Baez and by Barton & Para. Also, long long ago, by
filename[ LADYMARY