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Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head

DigiTrad:
MAID AND THE ROBBER


Abby Sale 19 Jan 03 - 07:08 PM
masato sakurai 19 Jan 03 - 07:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jan 03 - 09:27 PM
Abby Sale 19 Jan 03 - 10:18 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 03 - 11:25 PM
Joe Offer 20 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jan 03 - 12:29 AM
masato sakurai 20 Jan 03 - 12:53 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jan 03 - 03:20 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 03 - 03:10 AM
GUEST,MCP 21 Jan 03 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,handy sam 10 Oct 17 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 10 Oct 17 - 08:07 PM
Snuffy 11 Oct 17 - 09:15 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Oct 17 - 04:09 PM
meself 11 Oct 17 - 08:36 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Oct 17 - 03:13 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM
Mo the caller 16 Oct 17 - 06:15 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Abby Sale
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 07:08 PM

I am asked for words to "The Maid with the Box on Her Head." Supposedly it is sung by AL Lloyd on Riverside, British Street Ballads.

I don't find it in the usual searches. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: masato sakurai
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 07:57 PM

It's on A.L. Lloyd's English Street Songs, Riverside RLP-12-614, LP (196?), cut# 3 (Girl With the Box on Her Head) [which to my regret I don't have]. The song is indexed as THE UNDAUNTED FEMALE (The Box upon her Head; The Staffordshire Maid; The Maid and the Robber) [Laws L3] in G. Malcolm Laws' American Balladry from British Broadsides (p. 166). MAID AND THE ROBBER is in the DT. More than twenty editions of "Undaunted Female" are at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads. Martin Carthy sang this as "Box on Her Head" on his Second Album (Click here for notes & lyrics).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 09:27 PM

The earlier (18th century) Staffordshire Maid can also be seen at the Bodleian. I don't know what version of the song Lloyd sang; Carthy's set was a condensation (12 verses conflated to 7) of the one published by Lucy Broadwood in English County Songs (1893), as The Beautiful Damsel, or the Undaunted Female; words and tune were both noted from a Mrs Wilson of Northamptonshire.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Abby Sale
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 10:18 PM

That's good. Thanks guys. I didn't recognize it under that name.
Oddly, my copy of Martin Carthy's Second Album (fontana) seems to have a slightly different track list than the Topic ones. This song isn't not on my copy.


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Subject: The Undaunted Female
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 11:25 PM

"Box Upon Her Head"? Interesting title. As Masato says above, it's Maid and the Robber in the Digital Tradition. The DT lyrics are almost exactly what you'll find in the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection. As far as I can tell, the entry at Bruce Olson's site is just an index entry, no lyrics. The only songbook lyrics I could find were the ones in Greig-Duncan. Anybody willing to transcribe the broadsides?
Here's the "Undaunted Female" entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.
-Joe Offer-

Undaunted Female, The (The Box Upon Her Head; The Staffordshire Maid; The Maid and the Robber) [Laws L3]

DESCRIPTION: A servant girl sets out for home to help her father. She meets a robber and kills him. She meets another stranger who returns with her to the body. They find a whistle which summons more robbers. Girl and stranger dispose of them and agree to marry
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE:
KEYWORDS: outlaw marriage
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Laws L3, "The Undaunted Female"
BBI (Bruce Olson's Broadside Ballad Index), ZN514, "Come all ye young gallants and listen a while" (?)
DT 419, MAIDROBR

File: LL03

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM

One notable difference between the DT version and the Greig-Duncan version of the song.

This is from the Digital Tradition:
This pretty fair maid fell a-trembling with fear
Not knowing where to run or how to get clear
But as he was a-fumbling a-feeling for his knife
This pretty fair maid she took away his life

This is from Greig-Duncan:
This pretty fair maid fell trembling with fear
Not knowing where to wander or where for to fly
But as he was a-fumbling a-feeling for his knife
This pretty fair maid she took away his life


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 12:29 AM

The DT file does say "printed in Gavin Grieg", and I'd assumed that was the source of the text given; if it is, then quite a few small mistakes have been made, including the spelling of Mr Greig's name. Perhaps it was really quoted from somewhere else?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 12:53 AM

The DT version seems to come from Gavin Greig's Folk-Song of the North-East (1907-1911, article no. xxxv, lyrics only; reprinted Folklore Associates, 1963), minus the burden "W' my faldedo adido, falal diday." The textual difference is not mentioned in Greig-Duncan Folk-Song Collection, vol. 2 (p. 556, note).
    Other versions include "The Box Upon Her Head" in W. Roy Mackenzie, Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia (1928; reprinted Folklore Associates, 1963, pp. 321-322 [no. 130]; lyrics only) and "It's a Pretty Fair Maid" in Alfred Williams, Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames (Duckworth, 1923, pp. 280-281; lyrics only).

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: BEAUTIFUL DAMSEL / UNDAUNTED FEMALE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 03:20 PM

THE BEAUTIFUL DAMSEL or, THE UNDAUNTED FEMALE

(Noted by Lucy Broadwood from Mrs. Wilson, Northamptonshire, late C19)

'Tis of a fair damsel in London did dwell,
A-waiting in her beauty, which none there could excel.
Her master and her mistress she servèd seven year,
And what follows after you soon shall quickly hear.

She packed up her box with her red cloak and gown,
She packed up her box all to leave London town,
Her red cloak and gown, and the rest of her clothes,
And with her box upon her head from service she goes.

She put her box upon her head, and carried it along,
The first that she met with was an able man and strong,
He said, My pretty fair maid, pray will you come with me,
And I'll put you in a nearer way across this country?"

He took her by the hand, and he led to a lane,
He said, "My pretty fair maid, I'll tell you plump and plain,
Deliver up your money without fear or strife,
Or else this very moment I'll take away your your life."

The tears from her eyes like two fountains did flow,
Saying, "Where shall I wander, or where shall I go?"
And while this young fellow was feeling for his knife,
This beautiful damsel she took away his life.

She put her box all on her head, and with it trudged along,
The next that she met was a noble gentleman,
He said, "My pretty fair maid, where are you going so late,
Or what was that noise that I heard at yonder gate?"

"That box you carry upon your head to youself does not belong,
To your master or your mistress you have done something wrong,
To your master or your mistress you have done something ill,
For one moment from trembling you cannot keep still."

"This box upon my head to myself it does belong,
To my master and my mistress I have done nothing wrong,
To my master and my mistress I have done nothing ill,
But I fear in my heart that a young man I did kill."

"He demanded my money, and I soon let him know,
For while he was fumbling I proved his overthrow;"
She took him by the hand and led him to the place
Where this able young fellow lay bleeding on his face.

This gentleman got off his horse to see what he had got;
He had three loaded pistols, some powder, and some shot,
Beside three loaded pistols, some powder, and some ball,
A knife, and a whistle some robbers for to call.

He put the whistle to his mouth, and he blew it loud and shrill,
Then four stout and able fellows came tripping o'er the hill;
This gentleman shot one of them, and that most speedily,
And this beautiful young damsel she shot the other three.

When this noble gentleman saw all the robbers dead,
He took the damsel by the hand, and thus to her he said,
"I'll take you for my own bride, for the deed that you have done,
In taking of your own part, and firing off your gun."


From Lucy Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland, English County Songs, 1893.

Roud 289, Laws L3


X:1
T:The Beautiful Damsel
T:The Undaunted Female
T:Box on her Head
S:Mrs Wilson, Northamptonshire
B:Lucy Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland, English County Songs, 1893.
N:Roud 289, Laws L3.
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:2/4
K:F
C|F2 F3/2 F/|(FA) c3/2 A/|G2 F3/2 E/|F3 c|
w:'Tis of a fair dam-*sel in Lon-don did dwell, A
d3/2 d/ f3/2 d/|d2 c3/2 c/|B3/2B/A3/2G/|A3d|
w:wait-ing in her beau-ty, which none there could ex-cel. Her
d3/2 d/ f3/2 d/|d c z c|B3/2 B/ A3/2 G/|A3 A|
w:mas-ter and her mis-tress she serv-èd sev-en year, And
(G3/2A/) B3/2 c/|d2 c3/2 A/|G3/2 F/ F3/2 F/|F3|]
w:what_ fol-lows af-ter you soon shall quick-ly hear.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT'S OF A PRETTY FAIR MAID
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 03:10 AM

Here's the text from Alfred Williams' Folk Songs of the Upper Thames:


IT'S OF A PRETTY FAIR MAID

It's of a pretty fair maid in London did dwell,
For wit and for beauty none could her excel;
To her master and her mistress she servèd seven years,
And what followed after you quickly shall hear.

She put the box upon her head and gangèd along,
The first that she met with was a stout and able man;
He said, "My pretty fair maid, where are you going this way?
I'll show you a nearer road across the countree."

He took her by the hand and led her to a lane,
Said he , "My pretty fair maid, I mean to tell you plain;
Deliver up your money, without fear or strife,
Or else, this very moment, I'll take away your your life."

The tears from her eyes like two fountains did flow-
"Oh, where shall I wander? Oh, where shall I go?"
But while this young fellow was feeling for his knife,
This beautiful young damsel took away his life.

She put the box upon her head and gangèd along,
The next that she met was a noble gentleman;
He said, "My pretty fair maid, where are you going so late?
And what was the noise that I heard at yonder gate?

"The box upon your head to youself does not belong,
To your master or your mistress you have done something wrong;
To your master or your mistress you have done something ill,
For one moment from trembling you cannot keep still."

"The box upon my head to myself it does belong,
To my master or my mistress I have done nothing wrong;
To my master or my mistress I have done nothing ill,
But I fear in my heart it's some man I have killed."

"He demanded my money and I soon let him know,
And when he took his knife I proved his overthrow;"
She took him by the hand and led him to the place,
Where this stut and able fellow lay bleeding on his face.

They searched him all over to see what he had got,
He had three loaded pistols, some powder and some shot;
He had three loaded pistols, some powder and some ball,
A knife and a whistle, more robbers for to call.

He put the whistle to his lips and blew both loud and shrill,
And four stout, able fellows came tripping down the hill;
The gentleman shot one of them, and that most speedily,
And this beautiful young damsel she shot the other three.

He says, "My pretty fair maid, for what you have done,
I'll make you my lawful bride, love, before it is long;
I'll make you my lawful bride love, before it is long,
For the taking of your own part, and the firing of your gun."


Williams says: Formerly a very special favourite in the Vale. I have been offered the piece at least twelve times, though I have heard it but once quite accurately - assuming that the following version is accurate; it is the best I have obtained. Communicated by Henry Potter, Standlake, Oxon"

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 03:18 AM

That last was me.

There are a few typos (submitted instead of previewed as I was checking it):

Verse 6, line 1: youself should be yourself
Verse 8, line 4: stut should be stout
Verse 11, line 3: bride love should be bride, love

(and Williams' comments were meant to be in quoted italics).


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: GUEST,handy sam
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 05:50 PM

My great grandfather sang a version of this called the "Snow Drooping Damsel" in which the lady shot 3 of the jolly yeomen with her bow while the sheriff managed only one. This ballad had been handed down through my family since the 1640's according to my father.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 08:07 PM

I collected a version from Alice Parkinson in 1985. It has a wonderful tune. Go to the Nick and Mally Dow collection at the British Library. (Google will take you there) Look under L for Lancashire, and please take it and sing it if you like it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 09:15 AM

I heard a version at Alcester Folk Festival a few years back from an Irish singer: he called it "The Budget" (which apparently is an old word for a case or box).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 04:09 PM

HI Sam,
Very interested in your great grandfather's version as British versions are no older than the mid-eighteenth century (1750s).

Any chance you could post the text please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: meself
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 08:36 PM

Very odd that we don't get how she 'took away the life' of the robber until the very last verse. I was thinking she was some kind of ninja maidservant or something .....


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STAFFORDSHIRE MAID (from Bodleian, #1
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 03:13 PM

The Bodliean has two editions called THE STAFFORDSHIRE MAID. No date is given, but the typography appears older than those called THE UNDAUNTED FEMALE. I have transcribed the following text from the one indexed as Harding B 1(96).

THE STAFFORDSHIRE MAID

Come all ye young gallants, and listen awhile,
I'll tell you a story will make you to smile:
It is of a bold young Staffordshire maid,
Her part with a rogue of a tinker she play'd.

At Yarmouth this damsel did live as we hear,
Along with the farmer the space of a year;
But being desirous her parents to see,
She gave her master warning for to go away.

Her master in wages paid her four pound,
She put it in her box, with head-cloaths and gown
And having a box for to hold her cloaths,
With it on her head from her master she goes.

She had not been got from the town half a mile,
Before a bold tinker met her at a stile;
When smiling in her face, unto her he said,
Where are you going my charming fair maid?

I am going to Hurley, where my parents do dwell,
Then reply'd the Tinker I know them full well;
But be rulèd by me the tinker did say,
You'll surely be robb'd if you go the highway.

If you turn to the right it will be the same,
Then be rulèd by me, and go strait down this lane,
It is round about, yet better he said,
Than for to be robbèd, my charming fair maid.

She thankèd the tinker, and went on her way,
He soon call'd to her and bid her to stay:
I'm going down this lane the space of a mile,
But little she thought that he would her beguile.

Down the lane the maid and the tinker did walk,
Diverting each other with innocent talk,
Until they came to a lonesome place,
Then the tinker he look'd her so sly in the face.

What is in your box come tell unto me,
And taking it from her, demanded the key:
She said, She had lost it, with tears in her eyes,
A long pike staff the tinker lay by;

And while he was busied in opening the lock,
With the same she gave him a very great knock;
The knock that she gave him let him to know,
Her staff it was ready to give t'other blow.

Another she gave him on the side of the head,
The blood it run down: she left him for dead.
And said, Lie there villain and rogue in thy heart,
Thy traiterous actions have met their desert:

So taking her box on her head once again,
And as she was walking down the long lane,
There she met a gentleman, who did her entreat,
And ask'd her the favour to open the gate.

To open the gate that his horse might go thro',
And as the gentleman near to her drew,
He said, to whom doth the box on your head belong
To master or mistress, or have you done wrong?

No, I've done no wrong, but a crime that's as ill,
For I do believe a man I have kill'd.
Come shew me the man, he strait to her said,
And I will protect you from dangers, fair maid.

She shew'd him the place where the tinker lay dead,
A long stream of blood was run down from his head,
In his budget were pistols, with powder and ball,
And likewise a whistle his companions to call.

Also a hanger he had by his side,
A large pair of spurs, if occasion to ride;
He said, Fair damsel, you might have been abus'd,
These are odd sort of tools for a tinker to use.

He said, Fair maid, Have you courage to stand,
To fire a pistol when danger's at hand.
She said, I have, and never will start,
When dangers at hand I will soon play my part.

Then he took the whistle, and gave such a blow,
As made the groves to ring, and the thieves to crow
In a few minutes the villains did appear,
And seeing what was done, began for to swear,

They would be revengèd; then the maid without dread,
She cockèd her pistol, and kill'd one stone dead:
Another bold villain the gentleman shot,
Who fell to the ground stone dead on the spot.

Another bold villain seeing what was done,
He took to his heels, and away he did run;
The gentleman pursu'd him, and brought him to town,
Where the truth of the matter was quickly made known.

The gaoler to the assizes is come, it is said,
And for this the brave girl shal have money paid;
Full fifty bright guineas she made, it appears,
Besides the effects in the budget, we hear.

Now all the brave lads they were in a strife,
Who should gain this brave girl for a wife;
But none of them was ordainèd so right,
As he who made her a Lady so bright.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STAFFORDSHIRE MAID (from Bodleian, #2
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM

Here's the other edition held by the Bodleian, Harding B 39(211):

THE STAFFORDSHIRE MAID

You gentlemen all come listen awhile,
The song that I sing will make you smile,
'Tis of the bold heart of a Staffordshire maid,
How the part of a rogue with a tinker she play'd.

She being desirous her parents to see,
Gave her master warning for to go away;
Her master for wages he gave her five pounds,
Which she put in her box with cloaths & gown.

Then taking her box which held all her cloaths,
Then strait from her master's house she goes;
She had not got out of the town half a mile,
Before a bold tinker she met at a stile.

He smil'd in her face, and these words he said,
O where art thou going my bonny fair maid?
I'm going to work where my friends do dwell:
The tinker he said, I know it full well.

Pray take my advice and mind what I say,
You'll surely be robb'd if you go the highway,
If you turn to the right you'll find it the same,
So take my advice and go down the strait lane.

She thank'd him, and took his advice as I heard say,
He soon did call after & bid her to stay.
I am going that way for the space of a mile;
The girl never thought that he would her beguile.

They walk'd till they came to a lonesome place,
The tinker he star'd this fair maid in the face,
What have you in your box madam, tell to me,
Then taking it from her demanded the key.

The innocent girl lamented, and said, why,
Good sir, I have lost it, with tears in her eye:
Then from his back he his budget threw down,
And his iron piked staff he laid on the ground.

Disputing the matter she did not long stand,
She took the iron piked staff into her hand;
And, as he was striving to open the lock,
She up with the staff and gave him a damnable knock.

The blow that she gave him proved a good thing
And made both sides of his head for to ring:
Another she gave him just behind the head,
Which tumbled him down & left him for dead.

Then taking her box on her head again,
And as she was trafelling down the long lane
A gentleman came riding, who did her intreat,
She would be so kind as to open the gate.

He smil'd in her face, & these words to her said,
O where are you going, my bonny fair maid;
To whom does that box on your head belong,
To master, or mistress, or have you done wrong.

Good sir, I have done a thing that is ill,
For I do believe that a man I have kill'd.
Come shew me where he lies, my bonny maid,
And I will protect you from all danger, he said.

They came to the place where the tinker lay dead,
And a great stream of blood run from his head;
Then off from his horse he then lighted down,
An searching his budget that lay on the ground,

Found three pistols loaded with powder & ball,
A knife and a whistle those rogues to call.
He said, my fair maid you have been abus'd,
These are odd sort of tools for a tinker to use.

Do you thin you've courage enough to stand
For to fire a pistol when danger's at hand?
When danger's at hand, sir, I never will start,
So give me a pistol, and I'll play my part.

Then taking the whistle, he gave a loud blow,
Made the woods echo, and the rogues to crow:
In four or five minutes three rogues did appear,
Who seeing the tinker lie dead there did swear,

They would all be revenged on this fair maid.
Then she fired her pistol, and shot one of them dead,
The gentleman fired and killed another,
The third ran away at the sight of his brother.

The gentlemen in the town were in great strife,
To know who should gain this fair maid for a wife;
But none of 'em all could gain this beauty bright,
For the gentleman made her his lady that night.

Sold by S. Gamidge, in High-street, Worcester; W.
Lloyd, in Mortimer-Cleobury; Mr Taylor, in
Kidderminster; and S. Harward, in Tewkesbury.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Oct 17 - 06:15 AM

Pilgrim's Way have it on their new album. They call it 'Shoot Em All' Jude Rees is singing in the video


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