Mudcat Café message #77102 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10796   Message #77102
Posted By: Reiver #2 (inactive)
09-May-99 - 11:18 PM
Thread Name: Country of origin of these songs please!
Subject: RE: Country of orgin of these songs please!
I had always thought of Barbara Allan (Child's spelling) as English in origin. Then I noted the reference in Child's "English and Scottish Popular Ballads" which quotes Pepys' reference to it as the "little Scotch (sic) song of Barbary Allen." The words as put down by Child certainly take the form of a Scottish dialect. I'd be curious as to the source(s) for those who insist that it's of English origin. Until then, I'll have to believe it's roots are Scottish.

As for the reference to "The House Carpenter" equating it with Child #243, I'm not so sure. The Child Ballad #243 is titled "James Harris (The Daemon Lover)and refers to a Mrs. Jane Reynolds who, "having plighted to a Seaman, was afterwards married to a Carpenter...". The reference goes on to indicate that it was sung ("recited", actually) to a "West-country tune called 'The Fair Maid of Bristol,' 'Bateman,' or 'John True.'" What puzzles me is that there is no reference in any of the 32 verses to the man she marries being a "house carpenter." And in version D, called "The Carpenter's Wife" the man is specifically referred to as a "ship-carpenter" not a "house carpenter." So, I'm wondering if these are really the same song. Incidently, (and back to the original question)Child's version F, refers to "The Daemon Lover" as being taken from "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 5th edition, 1812." (As to the country of origin, which side of the border did it come from?) Can somebody give me the connection between "The Daemon Lover" and "The House Carpenter"? I don't deny the connection -- I just would like more information on it.

Reiver #2