mudcat.org: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?

DigiTrad:
DIXON AND JOHNSON
TWO BUTCHERS


Related thread:
(origins) Origins:Jickson Johnson/Johnson Jinkson/3 Butchers (13)


Steve Gardham 04 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Jun 10 - 06:24 PM
mayomick 09 Jun 10 - 12:15 PM
Herga Kitty 04 May 10 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,nickp (cookieless) 09 Apr 10 - 04:12 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Apr 10 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,nickp (cookieless) 08 Apr 10 - 04:19 AM
Goose Gander 08 Apr 10 - 12:20 AM
Goose Gander 07 Apr 10 - 03:13 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Apr 10 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Ian Gill 07 Apr 10 - 02:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Apr 10 - 07:19 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Apr 10 - 06:52 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Apr 10 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Ian Gill 06 Apr 10 - 04:54 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Apr 10 - 01:44 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Apr 10 - 01:42 PM
Goose Gander 06 Apr 10 - 01:28 PM
JHW 06 Apr 10 - 10:57 AM
Phil Edwards 06 Apr 10 - 05:44 AM
Artful Codger 05 Apr 10 - 09:11 PM
Jack Campin 05 Apr 10 - 08:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Apr 10 - 08:01 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 06:41 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 06:27 PM
Richard Mellish 05 Apr 10 - 04:00 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 03:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Apr 10 - 02:26 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 01:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Apr 10 - 01:24 PM
Goose Gander 05 Apr 10 - 01:12 PM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 10 - 10:27 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Apr 10 - 09:45 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Apr 10 - 09:19 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 10 - 09:17 AM
Stower 05 Apr 10 - 08:30 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Apr 10 - 04:38 AM
Rob Naylor 05 Apr 10 - 04:23 AM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 03:55 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 10 - 03:48 AM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 03:21 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 10 - 01:26 AM
Goose Gander 05 Apr 10 - 01:13 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 10 - 01:01 AM
Little Hawk 04 Apr 10 - 06:04 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Apr 10 - 05:14 PM
Goose Gander 04 Apr 10 - 05:13 PM
Little Hawk 04 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM
Goose Gander 04 Apr 10 - 04:56 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM

Is this a contemporary quote? Either way I'd need a translation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 06:24 PM

The ballad writers didn't need much encouragement, but it does help when you're not being thrown into prison or beheaded at any excuse. I think at this period they were too busy executing each other for religious differences to worry about the ballad makers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: mayomick
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 12:15 PM

Perhaps Burges was being intentionally erotic when he wrote the lyric which must have seemed pretty steamy at the time . Did the Merry Monarch encourage ballad writers to be racey - as he did with dramatists ?

"Restoration comedy is notorious for its sexual explicitness, a quality encouraged by Charles II(1660–1685) personally and by the rakish aristocratic ethos of his court."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 04 May 10 - 06:47 PM

A recent episode of Foyle's War (UK, ITV) incorporated the plot of the good Samaritan robbed in consequence of going to the aid of the distressed woman lying in the road ...

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: GUEST,nickp (cookieless)
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:12 AM

I like the 'added interest' idea!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM

Then Johnson whipt into the wood with all his might and main,
Whereas he found the woman with cords fast ty'd in twain,
With cords fast ty'd in twain, and hand and foot was bound,
And found her there stark-naked, with her hair pin'd to the ground.

Looking at the whole of the ealiest extant version, it would seem that the extra binding etc was a delaying tactic to allow the 10 robbers to get into position for the ambush. OTH it could just be to add extra interest to the ballad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 03:01 PM

nickp asked why the hair bound to the ground, and wouldn't rope binding be as good or better.

At least one of the versions given in this thread says that she was bound AND her hair fastened to the ground.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: GUEST,nickp (cookieless)
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 04:19 AM

What about the 'hair bound to the ground'? Wouldn't rope around hands and feet be better?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:20 AM

Here's another American version without specific mention of the woman's nakedness . . .

THREE BUTCHERS

It was on a Sunday morn
When three bloody butcher boys
Set out to seek their fortune
Ten thousand miles away

They had not rode so very far
Upon a mountain high
When Johnson said, "Listen, listen, boys
I hear a woman's cry"

"Oh, pretty, pretty woman
What are you doing here?"
"Seven bold robbers chained me
An left me here to die"

Now Johnson being kind
Threw his cloak about her
He mounted on his horses back
And put her up behind

They rode for five miles
On the mountainside
When out stepped the bold robbers
With weapons in their hands

They fought from ten o'clock
Until three in the afternoon
They killed the seven bold robbers
And laid them in the sun

Now Johnson being tired
Sat down for to rest
Up stepped this wicked woman
And stabbed him in the breast

"Oh, wicked, wicked woman
What have you done to me?
You have killed the bravest butcher boy
In North Amerikee'

"(S)ung by Sam Ansel of Stroud and contributed by Carl M. Perry of Tulsa. The singer was born in Arkansas and lived in Texas and Oklahoma until his death in 1930. His parents came from Tennessee and Kentucky."

Ethel and Chauncey Moore, Ballads and Folk Songs of the Southwest (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), p.156-157.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 03:13 PM

THREE JOLLY BUTCHER BOYS

As sung by Biggun Smith, recorded by Peter Shepheard in The Fisherman bar at Beachley Ferry, Gloucestershire, 3 January, 1967

Oh there was three jolly butcher boys,
It was on one market day;
As they was a-driving along my boys,
Now hard as they could tear;
"Oh stop your horse," cried Gilson,
"I've heard a woman scream."

"Oh stop your horse," cried Gilson,
"I'll stop my horse cried he"
"Oh stop your horse," cried Gilson,
"I've heard a woman scream."

"I'll stop my horse." cried Johnson,
"I'll stop my horse," cried he.
"For I never was down hearted
And afraid of any man."

Them woods they searched all over,
To a woman I'll behold,
"What brings you here stark naked,
With your hair bound to the ground?"

"Is you put here for a murderer,
Or is you put here for some snare?"
"Them rogues they've rippèd me, they've tored me,
Bound my hair down to the ground.

Oh Johnson being such a valiant man,
And a man of courage bold,
He took his jacket from his back,
Just to keep her from the cold.

Sure as they was a-driving along my boys,
Now hard as they could tear,
"Oh stop your horse," cried robbers,
"You can either fight or die."

"I'll stop my horse," cried robber [Johnson],
"I'll stop my horse," cried he
"For I never was down hearted,
And afraid of any man."

Oh Johnson being such a valiant man,
Oh a man of courage bold,
Oh Johnson drawed his slittering sword,
He slittered them to the ground.

"I got a fall," cried Johnson,
"I got a fall cried he,"
"For it was that villain woman,
Has give me my death wound."

She was took as a prisoner,
Put behind strong iron bars,
For killing the finest butcher boy,
That trod old England's ground.

Notes:
"This old ballad has 123 Roud entries, principally from books and collections, yet is still to be found in the living tradition in England and Scotland, and there are 15 sound recordings. There are also many examples from Canada and the USA, but only two listings for Irish singers. It is probably founded on an event that took place in 17th century England and was certainly printed in a blackletter broadside in 1678 under the title Three Worthy Butchers of the North. Of the sound recordings, probably only three remain available: George Fosbury (Folktracks FSA426), Bob Scarce (Folktracks 60-029) and Walter Pardon (Topic TSCD514)."

Source:
Wiggy Smith - Band of Gold (Musical Traditions, MT CD 307)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 02:54 PM

I've just reread the relevant chapter in Bob's book, written I should add in 1977! To be fair to him he did emphasize that both these ballads were from broadsides even just going on the style. His problem was the versions available to him lacked initial stanzas which explain the motives clearly. We now have much earlier, fuller versions and can see clearly that there are no sacrificial rites involved. Boccaccio's 13th century version of 'Isabella' doesn't hint at sacrificial rites, although I think even in those violent days keeping your boyfriend's severed head in a plant pot would qualify one for immediate incarceration. Mind you they have some funny customs in Furrin lands!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: GUEST,Ian Gill
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 02:51 PM

I thought the Bob Stewart quotes might provide some fun but hadn't anticipated the inspirational comments of McGrath above. How about a little song writing competition; a current tabloid [sensational ?] story 'balladised' and analysed ? Any takers?
   The stories might not, of course, be real events - doesn't mean they aren't good stories. There's an old line about a student asking their prof. if the 'Oedipus' myths are true. The prof. ruminates for a while and then replies 'Let's hope not'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:19 PM

Just imagine the same kind of analysis provided by Bob Stewart there being applied to tabloid stories.

Of course real events have parallels in myths, if they didn't the myths would be pretty useless and irrelevant. But that doesn't mean they aren't real events.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:52 PM

since when do we need reasons for naked ladies?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:21 PM

Oh please!!!!! No more fakelore. Bruton Town is straight out of Boccaccio's Decameron as the first part of the Isabella story. I wish these people would go away and write novels and leave it at that. There are no myths in the 3 Butchers, it's a straight broadside ballad whether based on a real incident or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: GUEST,Ian Gill
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:54 PM

Bob Stewart in 'Where Is Saint George' [Blandford Press 1988 ISBN 0 7137 2030 1 ]comments on this song:
   'the images of the ballad suggest that it was based upon an older song or visual theme dealing with the sacrificial rite common to most folk-memories of pagan worship linking an Egyptian myth with the story of Osiris and his collective murder...
   ... a common sense explanation of the plot does not hold together. the group attack is reminiscent of the classically recorded collective responsibility for the ritual murder...' [p52]
He concludes [p.56]
    ' Songs such as 'Bruton Town' and 'The Three Butchers' pose real problems of definition, but also give insight into the complex routes that ancient images can travel'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:44 PM

McGrath, yes, perhaps I should have said, what is in the song is the only evidence we have to go on in this case. If the song were more recent we might have some historical facts to base our conjecture on, but here all we have is the song itself. It is even possible that this is not the original, although I personally think it is, based on much previous experience of such things. A contemporary could always and quite easily use a multiplicity of methods to check out the statements made. The removal in time here makes it very unlikely, almost impossible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:42 PM

But she was "as cold as cold or more"; & the motif of his finding it necessary to wrap her in his coat survives; so some hint of the usual déshabille familiar in this song surely persists in this Randolph Ozark version?

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:28 PM

Dixon and Johnson collected by Vance Randolph in the Ozarks lacks the 'nekkid lady' motif, and has some interesting floating verses and structural differences, etc. - almost a whole different song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: JHW
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 10:57 AM

Amazing what you can learn from just Googling 'naked women'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:44 AM

The word "lewd" is interesting (to me, at least - for anagrammatic reasons, my current Mudcat name was originally 'Lewd' Pip Radish). "Lewd" has an older sense of "bad, vile, evil, wicked, base" (OED) as well as the sexual sense which has survived. So when Johnson (who seems nice but dim) says "hast thou no lewd company?" he's basically saying "hang on, is this a trap?"

I also discovered today that there's an even older sense of "lewd" meaning 'common' or 'vulgar'. I'll assume that one applies in my nickname, I think - better 'Common' Pip than 'Vile' or 'Smutty' Pip.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:11 PM

"nobody ever roamed the streets looking for ladies in light dresses"

They do in the red light districts. ;-}


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:35 PM

The story overlaps a bit with the plot of Bartok's ballet "The Miraculous Mandarin", where a prostitute lures the Mandarin up to her room so he can be beaten to death and robbed by her accomplices.

Maybe Bartok's starting point was a Hungarian folk variant of the same yarn, deliberately transported to a milieu of the most extreme urban grunginess imaginable?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:01 PM

At this great removal in time we can only take each character at their word.

Why? What difference does time make? I don't mean about "what were the actual facts etc", that's irrelevant. But why would a listener at the time, listening to a song about a supposedly contemporary incident "only take each character at their word"? Why would a reader of a tabloid version of the same incident happening today?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:41 PM

MtheGM
Yep, but it wasn't US who started whimsying around all over the place... :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:27 PM

One of your original questions, why did they need a decoy?
1) She was obviously the leader. At least in the full version
2) The robbers couldn't just stand out in the open so they needed to be well hidden and 3) her part was as a distraction and delaying tactic. The 3 butchers were initially riding 'as fast as they could trig' so would have been difficult for the robbers to ambush.
4) They also gambled that if Johnson was chivalrous enough to rescue the girl, he would also want to protect her when they started the ambush.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:00 PM

Further thanks to all for the various information and ideas, especially to Steve for providing the full text of the Paul Burges c1675 version.

That version, like many of those collected from tradition, clearly has Johnson riding on down the road with the woman before being ambushed by the robbers. On the other hand the Pepys version that Stower provided the link to equally clearly has the woman summoning the robbers immediately: "... went to relieve her, and was there set upon by these Ten High-Way Men ..." as the introductory paragraph puts it.

The real incident, if any, could have happened either way, but the latter makes a more plausible story, answering most of my original questions. The woman's role was to lure the butchers into the wood, and off their horses, the more easily to be robbed. The nakedness (absolute or partial, take your pick) would enhance her effectiveness in that role, and she would not (expect to) be at any great risk from her nakedness because her accomplices would be nearby.

Kitson's suspicion that it could be a trap, and Johnson's question to the woman "Hast thou [here] no lewd company?" before he sets about freeing her, are consistent with this scenario.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:50 PM

'If you had but rid on this way as oft as we have done,
You would have heard this cry before, and now let us be gone." '

At this great removal in time we can only take each character at their word. Kitson was simply trying to warn Johnson that he was aware that it it was a trap. And stepping into the shoes of the writer we know that he was right, albeit in retrospect. If we accept this then we must say that Kitson was much the braver of the two as he was aware of the danger he was getting into. Presumably only his loyalty to Johnson allowed him to follow him into the wood instead of taking off there and then, unless of course Johnson was carrying the kitty!

While I'm here I ought to add that Ebsworth conjectured the whole thing was based on a real event that took place in Norfolk:
'Blankly Lane was probably Blakeney, near a Land's End promontory; at the mouth of river Glaven, on the north coast of Norfolk. Thence two thieves escaped to sea, by Yarmouth.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:26 PM

Not much point screaming for help when it's the Kitsons of this world passing by...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:42 PM

If we go back to the original, far from being valiant or gentlemanly, Johnson was actually being particularly impetuous and stupid. When they heard the cries, Kitson actually said they had heard the cries before implying they knew exactly what they meant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:24 PM

Obviously he'd have offered her his coat in the circumstances. I find it hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't. I suppose there are some though...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:12 PM

Actually, yes, I've offered my coat to others in cold weather - I mind the cold less than some, and it's just good manners in certain situations. I'm mildly shocked that this is even a controversial point.

Back to the song, Troy Cambron says in the recording that he learned it from his mother. Perhaps she 'edited' the nakedness out. It would be interesting to find out if any other variants are missing this element.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 10:27 AM

Yes, Pip ~ but I was answering GooseGander & Foolestroupe, who had extended the argument into whimsical ideas of courtesy; I was not responding either way to your perfectly valid original point about the change in the concept of nakedness; so that your quoting my response to them only to contradict it by restatement of your point was a bit confusing & confused, was it not?

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:45 AM

Michael - my point was that the reason that the butcher gave the woman his coat was that she was "naked" in whatever sense that word had at the time - which, if we trust the OED, clearly wasn't exactly the same sense we use it in now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:19 AM

I've got no dictionary backup for this at all, but I do wonder whether even "stark naked" always meant what we think of it as meaning. In a sense it's irrelevant - "naked woman" has always meant a woman who's scandalously underdressed, regardless of how much you have to take off in order to be naked. Nowaydays we* think the answer is "absolutely everything"**, but that hasn't always been the case.

*Well, most of us do. If a stripper strips down to a minute G-string and a pair of tassels, so that her crotch and nipples stay "clothed", does she end up naked? I think quite a few people would say Yes even now.

**Just to be really awkward, I don't think even a straightforward phrase like "taking off absolutely everything" always means *exactly* the same thing...
"And apparently she takes off absolutely everything!"
"Yeah, I know, seen it."
"No, I mean, she takes off everything!"
"What... everything?"
(That's enough channelling my inner 13-year-old.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:17 AM

do you go around offering your coat to anyone who has chosen not to dress quite so warmly as yourself?

I'd give my coat to anyone who was naked, as I in my place and time defined "naked". That was rather the point. ===

No doubt you would, Pip·R. But that wasn't what I asked, was it? So what, precisely, do you assert in so complacent a knockdown tone, to have been 'rather the point'?

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Stower
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:30 AM

Steve Gardham: "Stower. Please see my post of 3rd April 6.28. The earliest/fullest version c1675 ..."

Sorry, Steve, I hadn't spotted your date, which slightly predates the broadside I linked to above. So it does seem, in the history of this ballad, she was stark naked, then she was fully clothed, then naked but not nude, then stark naked nude again!

Little Hawk, I really like your answer as to why she's naked in the song (regardless of its historicity, which we'll probably never know): hits the nail on the head, I think.

What a wonderfully interesting thread this is. Thanks, Richard, for bringing it up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:38 AM

do you go around offering your coat to anyone who has chosen not to dress quite so warmly as yourself?

I'd give my coat to anyone who was naked, as I in my place and time defined "naked". That was rather the point.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:23 AM

I once lent my fleece to a woman dressed in singlet and shorts on top of Scafell Pike. It had been a nice day, but came over cold and *very* windy quite suddenly. She was shivering something rotten.

I asked her to drop it in at the campsite shop in Wasdale, which she'd have to pass on the way out of the valley (I was descending by a different route).

The cow never returned it!!! Last time *I'll* be chivalrous.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:55 AM

"nobody ever roamed the streets looking for ladies in light dresses"

Ah, but for the truly Chivalourous, they always had to Be Prepared!!!

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:48 AM

Don't think so, Foolestroupe. Opening doors, raising hats &c, sure ~~ & at my age of course I still do that. But cloaks over puddles only applied to one, probably mythical, occasion re Walter Ralegh & Eliz I. & nobody ever roamed the streets looking for ladies in light dresses (probably demanded by fashion anyhow)for the purpose of offering them their overcoats, did they now? You are being whimsical, aren't you, in your rubrications of "chivalrous behaviour"?

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:21 AM

"if you are out in cold weather, do you go around offering your coat to anyone who has chosen not to dress quite so warmly as yourself?"

It used to be called 'Chivalrous Behaviour" and it was expected that guys would do do such things as this and open door for ladies, throw ones cloak over a puddle, etc. Don't feel that I'm criticising you MtheGM, people just aren't brought up the way they used to be. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:26 AM

No, I see that GG ~ but my point was that, within the context of this imperfect [in the sense of incomplete] variant of the song, does it not imply recollection of his reason for having passed her his overcoat in the earlier, more complete, versions?

(Actually, GG, if you are out in cold weather, do you go around offering your coat to anyone who has chosen not to dress quite so warmly as yourself? I should call that very unusual behaviour unless there was some obviously drastic underdressing [such as nakedness!] apparent?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:13 AM

I'm not sure that it does . . . nothing unusual about offering your coat to someone in cold weather.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:01 AM

Just to point out that GooseGander's 1940 version above may not mention her nakedness, but does retain the detail of his taking off his overcoat 'to hug her from the cold', which surely implies it.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 06:04 PM

Another important thing to remember about these songs...they play on a common fantasy of men throughout the ages, that they will somehow happen upon a naked woman in need of rescue! Then you add the theme of betrayal and you've got a really dramatic story with a shocking twist. What else could you possibly ask for?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 05:14 PM

As these two thieves play'd before him, alas! he did not mind,
For presently the woman knock'd him down behind;
"Oh wretched Woman!" [cry'd he], "wickedly hast thou done,
Thou hast kill'd the bravest butcher that ever England won:
For had but my fellows, had they prov'd true to me!"--
"They were cowards," said the woman, "and as cowards they shall dye."
Two of these Thieves [tho' wounded,] and the Woman they did go,
To Kitson and to Wilson where they lay bound in woe;
A club [she took] into her hand, as she got all the gains,
Went to Kitson and to Wilson and dasht out both their brains.

How this murder was discovered, list and you shall hear;
It was by a silly Shepherd, hid in the hedge for fear,
Seeing this woful murder straight[he] sent forth hue and cry,
[To] a gentleman and his man as they came riding by.
Ay, but do what e're they could, taken [Thieves] could not be,
For they got ship at Yarmouth, and so went over sea;
This is the trick of thieves when they have murder done,
When they have committed roguery, full fast away they run.
God bless our royal King and Queen, and send them long to reign,
In helath, wealth and prosperity, true Justice to amintain,
    God bless all true men that travel by land or Sea,
    And keep all true men out of Thieves' company!
                                        Paul Burges
                        Finis
Printed for P. Brooksby, in West-Smithfield (dated by Ebsworth 1672-79) there are 2 different copies in Roxburghe but the slightly later shorter copy (44 lines) based on it has survived in at least 6 copies.
Having read it thoroughly now, I would guess that it may have been based on a real incident, but I'm pretty sure in true gutter-press fashion it has been fleshed out and grossly exaggerated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 05:13 PM

DIXON SAID TO JOHNSON

As sung by Nimrod Workman, Chattaroy, WV, 3-1-76, recorded by Mark Wilson and Ken Irwin.

Dixon said to Johnson upon one holiday,
"Let's ride around the mountain to pass the time away."
Old Johnson being willing as they sat down to rest
They spied a naked woman a-sitting by herself.

"Oh, woman, foolish woman, what are you doing there?"
"The robbers they have robbed me; they've left me here to die"
Old Johnson being willing, a willing man in mind
He threw his greatcoat around her and took her on behind.

They rode on a few miles further as they sat down to rest
She drew a bloody dagger; she plunged it through his chest
"Woman, foolish woman, see what that you've done done
You've killed the bravest soldier that ever fired a gun."

"I know I've killed many a man; I've killed them all my life
I know I've killed a many a one; I am that robber's wife."

Source:
Folk-Songs of the Upper South vol. 2 (Musical Traditions MTCD343-4)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM

Why the naked woman? You have to ask????

Good marketing, that's why! Nothing else sells a song or a product as effectively as a naked or semi-clothed woman. This has been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt over the past few millennia. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Three Butchers: WHY the naked woman?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 04:56 PM

Here's a mid-twentieth century American variant in which the women is found with her hair pinned to the ground, though there is no mention of her being naked . . .

JOHNSON-JINKSON
As sung by Troy Cambron in Arvin, 1940

Johnson he was rid lug along
As fast as he could ride
He thought he heard a woman
He heard a woman cry.

Johnson getting off his horse
And searching, looked all around
Until he came to a woman
With her hair pinned to the ground.

Woman, dearest woman
Who has brought you here for sin
Who has brought you here this morning
With your hair pinned to the ground.

It were three bold and struggling men
With swords keen and hand
Who have brought me here this morning
With my hair pinned to the ground.

Johnson bein' a man of his own
And bein' a man and bold
He put off his overcoat
To hug her from the cold.

Johnson getting on his horse
And the woman getting on behind
Long this lonesome highway rode
Fortune was for to find.

They were riding all along
As fast as they could ride
She drew her fingers to her ears
And give three shivering cries.

Out sprung three bold and struggling men
With sword keen in hand
Who did commanded Johnson
Commanded him to stand.

I'll stop then, said Johnson
I'll stand then, said he
For I never worried in my life
Afraid of any of three.

Johnson killing two of them
Not watching the woman behind
While he was after the other one
She stabbed him from behind.

The day was free and the a market day
And the people all passing by
Who did saw this awful murder
And saw poor Johnson die.

Source:
Voices from the Dust Bowl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 September 4:37 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.