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Ballads not included in Child

09 Sep 14 - 08:28 AM (#3658693)
Subject: Ballads not included in Child
From: Tootler

I was doing some hunting around on ballads yesterday and it was stated in several places that there were a number of ballads that Child had either missed or not included in his collection. One or two were mentioned specifically and I can think of a couple of other possibles.

I'm interested in what people think are the main ballads not included in Child.

One that came up several times is The Bitter Withy

What others are there?


09 Sep 14 - 09:28 AM (#3658710)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST

He rejected Polly/Molly Vaughan in all it's versions and I cannot understand why?

Tim Radford


09 Sep 14 - 09:49 AM (#3658718)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

The Trees They Do Grow High is one contender. Bruton Town is another. The trouble is that Child's criteria for inclusion in ESPB was so arbitrary that, as well as leaving several important ballads out, he included quite a few which were less than distinguished, as one might say.

The trouble is, that we can't dig the old buggar up and ask him why he arranged the anthology that way. Also, the collection has achieved such a magisterial status, that it is probably no longer advisable to re-hack it.

Methinks we should let sleeping dogs lie, and just be thankful for such a monumental work.


09 Sep 14 - 10:01 AM (#3658721)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

In the introduction to The Ballads, (Hutchinson's University Library 1950), M J C Hodgart wrote of the omissions: "Only nine of them are worth considering: The Bitter Withy, Still Growing, Corpus Christi, The Seven Virgins, The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Bruton Town, The Shooting of His Dear, The Bold Fisherman, and, more doubtfully, Six Dukes Went A-fishing."

≈M≈


09 Sep 14 - 10:57 AM (#3658729)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

In Child's day most of these would only have been known by him on broadsides which to him were dunghills. Oral versions were only just beginning to be collected.

Of Hodgart's list I would say 'Stll Growing' arguably has the best pedigree and is closest to the Child Ballads in style.

I do think Child might have included Bruton Town had he been aware of the 2 very long American versions which have since appeared. Also its existence in story form over many centuries in Europe might have persuaded him. The likelihood is that he was not aware of its existence as oral versions only appeared in collections after his death.


09 Sep 14 - 11:18 AM (#3658739)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Airymouse

F.J.C. has a good many things to answer for:
1) If he hadn't decoded Chaucer, English majors would have escaped The Canterbury Tales. They would have been too hard.
2) His best-known student was George Kittredge. You're reading King Lear and you come to "My life has fallen in to the sere," and you say to yourself, "What the hell is a sere?" So you look it up in Kittredge's glossary: the space between the strike plate and the hammer of a pistol. Oh dear, that's an anachronism, I'll have to remember sere. In the hands of the right professor, Kittredge can destroy the poetry of even Shakespeare.
3) Unlike Cecil Sharp, Child seems to have paid little attention to the tunes of his ballads.
4) "Oral literature" makes no sense and it leads to the false idea that the oldest version of a ballad is the best, or that we should pick out a good version,rather than consider the collection of versions as one entity.
5) It was inconsiderate of him to die before writing up his criteria for selection. Bonny James Campbell is a beautiful song, and I'm glad he included it. But what's the story? James goes off to battle and gets killed. His wife, his mother, and perhaps his horse are sorry about this.


09 Sep 14 - 12:06 PM (#3658754)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Reinhard

A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl's Great British Ballads Not Included in the Child Collection (1956) has these ballads:

The Bitter Withy (Roud 452)
Lang A-Growing (Roud 31; Laws O35)
The Bramble Briar (Roud 18; Laws M32)
The Seven Virgins (Roud 127)
Down in Yon Forest (Roud 1523)
The Bold Fisherman (Roud 291; Laws O24)
The Blind Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green (Roud 132; Laws N27)
Six Dukes Went A-Fishing (Roud 78)
The Holy Well (Roud 1697)
The Shooting of His Dear (Roud 166; Laws O36)


09 Sep 14 - 12:32 PM (#3658769)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: dick greenhaus

He also omitted The Frog's Courtship


09 Sep 14 - 02:42 PM (#3658798)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Hmm! Lloyd and MacColl's list 1956, practically the same as Hodgart's, 1950. A case of great minds think alike, or perhaps just a case of cribbing?

Froggy certainly has a long pedigree, Dick, and comes in several distinct forms due to being rewritten for different audiences, but by the time Child was aware of it it had very much become mostly a nursery song. And of course animals talking and behaving like humans, whatever next! They'll be saying ballads have a cartoon-like quality next!


09 Sep 14 - 02:44 PM (#3658799)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,surreysinger

That's not really a ballad though is it? It has none of the qualities of one that make you go "yep, that's a ballad" that the others do. :-(


09 Sep 14 - 02:52 PM (#3658801)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Hey, come on Steve. Have you forgotten about all those talking parrots and other forms of linguistically unchallenged carnivalia? I reckon the real reason why Child never included THATM is because he refused to include anything with a line in it that ran "Off he went in his opera hat".


09 Sep 14 - 03:18 PM (#3658807)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

No, Fred, I was being ironic.

So what do you say to 'Get up and Bar the Door' ss?


10 Sep 14 - 02:28 AM (#3658910)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett

Myself, I'd have included "Five Drunken Bights" because it's the worn-down British nub of a European ballad story.

Jon Bartlett


10 Sep 14 - 04:06 AM (#3658924)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MartinRyan

"Five Drunken Bights" - had me in knots! ;>)>

Regards


10 Sep 14 - 05:22 AM (#3658944)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Steve. Get Up and Bar the Door.

An interesting one. Most scholars would probably agree that one of the most important attributes of a ballad is that it proceeds by alternating short bursts of dramatic action and terse dialogue.

Well, there's precious little action in GUABTD and the whole point of the story is that the two main protagonists agree not to engage in dialogue, terse or otherwise!

I'm being somewhat facetious of course. But thereby hangs an important point. Because nobody was stamping them out on an assembly line, there are significant points of variation in the ballad type. EG., if dramatic action and terse dialogue really are defining qualities, then we would have to scrap Lord Randall and several others, which consist of nothing but terse dialogue.

We've just got to face it. The ballad is a social construct, like folksong itself in fact. That doesn't deny its usefulness from a scholarly point of view, and it doesn't stop the hairs from lifting off the back of my head every tme I hear one.

For me, we've just got to accept the imperfections and inconsistencies of Child's anthology, and live with it.


10 Sep 14 - 05:45 AM (#3658950)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Phil Edwards

Airymouse - on a complete side-note, 'sere' in that line from Macbeth just means 'dry' or 'dryness'. You're thinking of a weird & possibly corrupt line in Hamlet, "the clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickled o' the sere". The 'hair trigger' explanation is ingenious, but that meaning of the word 'sere' isn't in the OED. If Shakespeare wrote 'sere', I suspect he meant 'dryness' again - i.e. the clown will make everyone laugh, even people who don't want to laugh because they've got a dry cough.

Fred:

The ballad is a social construct, like folksong itself in fact. That doesn't deny its usefulness from a scholarly point of view, and it doesn't stop the hairs from lifting off the back of my head every tme I hear one.

Good way of putting it. Child was working by feel & rule of thumb, but using that method he managed to identify something we can still identify now.


10 Sep 14 - 05:47 AM (#3658951)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

Let's not get into "the definition of a ballad," OK?


10 Sep 14 - 06:40 AM (#3658966)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,o

Steve (Gardham) "Great minds think alike) and "Fools seldom differ". There are many Ballads in the 1852 edition of British Poets that did not get included in the 1882 edition. Child actually wrote pencilled corrections in the margins of the First Edition of 1000 in the first two volumes


10 Sep 14 - 06:44 AM (#3658967)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Lighter. This thread started over the question of ballads which Child omitted, either because he didn't know about them, or because he didn't think them worthy of inclusion.

With regard to the latter therefore, we cannot get away from the question of definition. That is because Child must have some sort of criteria in his head in order to distinguish between those ballads which he deemed acceptable and those which he did not.

The problem is that ballads are not put together with nuts and bolts. They are all different, and they are all different because they have been created via artistic expression. IE., the ballad maker had something to say and used whatever poetic devices were available to say it.

In truth I doubt if any form of art is defineable. For example, try asking a poet to define the word poem and see what happens. The likleyhood is that they will wax forth in beautiful lyrical prose (As Plath did when she wrote about the 'Magical mountains. (At least I think it was Plath, but I could be wrong.)) But you will not get a workable watertight definition. Yet I doubt if there's ever been a poet who didn't have a clear idea of what poetry is and why their own work conformed to that idea.


10 Sep 14 - 09:20 AM (#3659006)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Gutcher

Having just done a quick scan of the list of Child Ballads I see no mention of "William and Lady Marjorie" If the mores of the time be known a good case can be made out for this ballad being pre C.1450.

Another I see no mention off is "Lord Spynie"--the story behind this one having 2 seductions 1 manslaughter and one assasination all dating to the year 1607.


10 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM (#3659011)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,A

How about 'Lord Soulis'... it appears in Scott's Minstrelsy but not in Child and, according to one person to whom I have spoken, was possibly in the repertoire of the Borders singer Willie Scott. And how about 'Lady Marcia' from the singing of Stanley Robertson? A fragment can be heard on the School of Scottish Studies' Tobar an Dualchais website.


10 Sep 14 - 10:03 AM (#3659017)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Brian Peters

Some have advocated 'The Devil's Courtship', a diabolical version of 'The Keys of Canterbury' / 'Paper of Pins' that was collected by Andrew Crawfurd from Mary Storie.


10 Sep 14 - 11:01 AM (#3659027)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Tootler

What about "Cruel Ship's Carpenter"?

As far as I can see it's not in Child, though I'm willing to be proved wrong.


10 Sep 14 - 11:54 AM (#3659040)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Cruel Ship's Carpenter is a version of The Demon Lover -- Child #243. Aka The House Carpenter.

≈M≈


10 Sep 14 - 11:56 AM (#3659041)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

One of those interesting instances of American versions where the supernatural element present in the original British & Euro analogues has disappeared, as the difference in the titles indicates.

≈M≈


10 Sep 14 - 11:58 AM (#3659043)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

I always thing that Peggy & The Soldier is distantly related to it, BTW.


10 Sep 14 - 12:08 PM (#3659048)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Or perhaps you mean the other similarly named ballad, which is related to Child 4, Lady Isabel & the Elf Knight, aka Pretty Polly. The same comment re the supernatural will apply here also.


10 Sep 14 - 01:27 PM (#3659071)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

Fred, there's a "ballad" and there's a "Child Ballad."

There's no doubt whatsoever about the latter: it's one of FJC's 305. Not in ESPB, not a Child ballad.

And I think we can agree that a "ballad" is a "song that tells a story." Of course, tens of millions believe that it's a kind of passionate pop song about love.

The futile arguments begin when people start insisting on precisely which song are "really" ballads, since the presence of the "story" can be pretty minimal. Is a song like "I Gave my Love Cherry," which seems to be a direct descendant of an undisputed ballad also a "ballad"? Who knows? (And who cares?)

I think only a certain sort of person gets so hung up on what category a particular song falls into, or what label to apply to a particular song, that they lose sight of the fact that the *label* is one of the least interesting things about it.

As for "What makes a Child ballad?" - obviously not even Child was sure, since he jettisoned a great deal that he originally endorsed. One may analyze ESPB for the Great Unifying and Exclusive Principle, but I don't believe there necessarily was one. Child was not a scientist, nor was he working under the stricter demands of mid-twentieth century scholarship.

He had conscious and unconscious criteria that varied over the years. He had to deal with scores (or more) of borderline cases. He was not conducting a scientific investigation.

All he did was to compile a scrupulously edited anthology of 305 traditional and tradition-inspired ballads with more background information, variants, and and transcultural connections than any one person before or since.

That's all Child has to "answer for." How is the existence of such a resource is a form of tyranny?


10 Sep 14 - 03:45 PM (#3659104)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Reinhard

See also E. David Gregory's article An Opportunity Fumbled: Francis James Child and the Late Victorian Folksong Revival in England (2009). He concludes it with:

The strict division that Child attempted to make between broadside balladry as a form of "low art" and traditional balladry as "popular poetry" no longer seems viable or useful. We now recognize that oral and print traditions were inextricably intermingled from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth. The broadside ballad was still alive and well in the Late Victorian era. Not only were broadsheets still being printed and sold, large numbers of the genre had taken root in oral tradition and become vernacular songs. A list of them all―and it would have to be considerably longer than forty-three―would be tedious, but to illustrate the point let me at least mention ten: "The Banks of Sweet Dundee," "Bold General Wolfe," "The Bonny Bunch of Roses," "The Death of Bill Brown," "The Deserter," "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris," "Spencer the Rover," "Turpin Hero," "The Unfortunate Rake" and "Van Dieman's Land." These, and many, many more, were extant in English oral tradition. Child, like Baring-Gould, did believe that the best broadsides were often corrupt or modified versions of "popular" ballads that professional ballad- mongers had once heard sung by tradition-bearers and then adapted for their own commercial purposes. At least in some instances, then, there was presumably a "remote possibility" that such texts were debased relics of "something genuine and better". It seems a pity that he was not more willing to follow the advice of his lamented friend Grundtvig and give more of them the benefit of the doubt.

The essential conclusion to be drawn from this brief examination of Francis James Child's awareness of and response to the Late Victorian folksong revival in England is that one cannot rely on The English and Scottish Popular Ballads to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of the state of English traditional balladry at the time. In this respect Child's great work is inadequate in four ways. First, not all known English variants of ballads in the canon were integrated by Child into the collection. Some he knew about but still failed to print, as in the case of nearly half of those submitted by Baring-Gould. Others had already been collected from oral tradition by Broadwood, Kidson, Alexander Barrett and others, but he remained unaware of them because he failed to communicate much with the English collectors. Second, there was a small group of seemingly traditional ballads that were which Child disregarded or was not aware of. They included "The Broken Token," "The Trees They Are So High," "Death and the Lady," and "The Setting of the Sun." Third, there were many splendid broadside ballads that Child rejected as merely the work of eighteenth-century ballad-mongers but which clearly found favor among English source singers and often had earlier roots. And fourth, Child failed to include in his Appendix of "Ballad Airs from Manuscripts" any of the melodies noted from oral tradition by the Late Victorian collectors. Baring-Gould might have played for England the role William Macmath played for Scotland in helping Child to make his collection more reflective of oral tradition, but, perhaps because of old age and failing health, the American scholar failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity to make contact with the leading pioneers of the first English folksong revival.

(I found this cited by Vic Gammon in the booklet of A.L. Lloyd's CD "Bramble Briars and Beams of the Sun")


10 Sep 14 - 04:10 PM (#3659115)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Chris Amos

A L Lloyd always used to say that The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter was one that Child ommited even though he knew about it. Bert considered the collection the wores for it.

I have my doubts about that, to me it seems to lack that certain something that makes the difference between a ballad and a song.

Chris


10 Sep 14 - 05:34 PM (#3659133)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

> It seems a pity that he was not more willing to follow the advice of his lamented friend Grundtvig and give more of them the benefit of the doubt.

He'd already given quite a few that benefit, and no matter how many he admitted, there'd always be others deserving (perhaps) the benefit of the doubt.

Few people seem to appreciate the (maybe literally) killing labor that Child's magnum opus required. To ask for more is ungrateful and unrealistic and, in a way, just plain selfish.


10 Sep 14 - 06:09 PM (#3659142)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Absolutely Jon. I'm pretty certain from his correspondence that by the last couple of volumes he was losing heart with what he was having to include, but most of us are extremely thankful that he persevered. We didn't get the long-awaited treatise on the popular ballad but he set out by defining clearly what he intended to do, and he stuck faithfully to that project, despite stern criticism from his mentor. In the first half of the project he also didn't hold back on those pieces that he thought had been interfered with by sophisticated hands, again despite opposition from Grundtvig.


11 Sep 14 - 05:37 AM (#3659253)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Lighter. Most of what you've written here endorses my argument that the ballad is undefinable; that the 305 Child ballads are in Child by his arbitrary decision alone; and that after all this time, the best thing we can do is to simply to accept what is in truth a magnificent work of scholarship.

What confuses me is your last sentence. "How is the existence of such a resource is a form of tyranny?"

Where have I ever accused Child of being tyrannical?


11 Sep 14 - 08:32 AM (#3659287)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

Yes, Fred, we agree, though I'd rephrase to say that a "ballad" is definable to the point of being a useful category, but which songs qualify will often be debatable. A "wolf dog" (I've seen them) is half and half, neither nor. Breeders don't fret about the label because it's not important. Knowing that "wolves" and "dogs" exist, however, and that there's a difference, is extremely important.

The sentence about tyranny was addressed not to you, but to an earlier statement that "Child has a lot to answer for" - unless that post was intended as irony. I've re-read it and confess I'm no longer certain.


11 Sep 14 - 08:47 AM (#3659293)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Jack Campin

How about 'Lord Soulis'... it appears in Scott's Minstrelsy but not in Child and, according to one person to whom I have spoken, was possibly in the repertoire of the Borders singer Willie Scott.

Maybe Willie Scott could have got away with it if he was singing in a pub where all the roads out were blocked by a blizzard. That one fails just about all of Child's criteria for inclusion. (If Stephen King had edited the Child collection I'm sure it would be in there).


11 Sep 14 - 03:18 PM (#3659423)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Richard Mellish

(Thread drift warning)
MGM·Lion 10 Sep 14 - 11:54 AM said
> Cruel Ship's Carpenter is a version of The Demon Lover -- Child #243. Aka The House Carpenter. <

Some versions of 243 might perhaps carry the name "Cruel Ship's Carpenter", but that name primarily applies to the ballad otherwise known as "Pretty Polly" or "The Gosport Tragedy", Roud 15. See also Paul Slade's article.

Back on topic: it's clear that Child was unsure about what to include and what to exclude, and that his thinking evolved over the years. He certainly did include some very dodgy specimens but this thread has identified only a handful of really old ones that we could reasonably expect him to have been included if he had known of them. Obviously he excluded umpteen 18th and 19th century broadsides that probably didn't go back any earlier and therefore were outside his criteria.


11 Sep 14 - 03:32 PM (#3659427)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

And yet, Richard, he did include some as examples of the genre, Keach i' the Creel, Get up and bar the door etc. Also there are many Child Ballads that have no provenance earlier than the 18thc, some even that only date from the 1820s.


11 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM (#3659430)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Richard Mellish -- Yes; so I said in the next but 2 post, 10 Sep, 1208 pm.

≈M≈


11 Sep 14 - 03:52 PM (#3659435)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Richard Mellish

> Richard Mellish -- Yes; so I said in the next but 2 post, 10 Sep, 1208 pm.

You did indeed mention the name "Pretty Polly", but applying to a ballad related to Child 4. I can't see any connection between that and Roud 15.


11 Sep 14 - 04:04 PM (#3659443)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

'Pretty Polly' is used as title for versions of at least a score of different ballads, particularly in the States.


11 Sep 14 - 04:14 PM (#3659446)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Richard -- Re Child #4. Lady Isabel & the Elf Knight, aka The Outlandish Knight

--'The lady of the title is named variously as "Lady Isabel", "the King's daughter" "May Collin", "May Colven", "pretty Polly", or not named at all. Variants of the song usually imply that she is rich and beautiful. The knight is, in some versions, a normal, but villainous, mortal man, but in others he is an "elf knight".' Wikipedia--

"Pretty Polly", whose lover rides off with her & tells her that he "dug on her grave the best part of last night", is surely related, Richard - as the inclusion of the name above suggests was agreed by the writer of the Wiki article. "Lady Isabel", Child #4, has indeed its own entry at Roud 21; but Pretty Polly still seems to me to be related in the theme of the lover who lures the woman away, meaning to murder her.

Here is the entry in Roud's index:-

--15 "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter" ("The Gosport Tragedy"; "Pretty Polly") (Laws P36A/B)--

≈M≈


11 Sep 14 - 05:04 PM (#3659458)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Richard Mellish

> Pretty Polly still seems to me to be related in the theme of the lover who lures the woman away, meaning to murder her. <

Both those (families of) ballads have that theme, but I see minimal resemblance otherwise and many major differences, including the crucial difference that in one the girl is murdered and in the other she outwits the villain.

But anyway this was thread drift away from the listing of ballads missing from Child and discussion of why they are missing.

One, not mentioned so far, that seems to me a more deserving candidate than some of those that he did include is The Three Butchers, Roud 17. Printed versions go back to the 1600s and collected versions vary considerably in wording and tune, though with the plot remaining consistent. So it is certainly old and it was certainly popular.


11 Sep 14 - 07:33 PM (#3659488)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Lighter

Though Child did not live to write his full evaluation of balladry, he did contribute a long and significant article to the 8-volume Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia in 1893.


12 Sep 14 - 06:15 AM (#3659590)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Richard Mellish

Is that article available on line anywhere?


12 Sep 14 - 08:34 AM (#3659614)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

Here, at p. 464:

https://archive.org/stream/johnsonsuniversa01adam#page/466/mode/2up/search/ballad+poetry

Child seems to have written the article as early as 1874, which would be about midway between his two collections. There were six later editions of the Cyclopaedia through 1897, but this isn't the sort of article likely to have been revised.

You may enjoy this as well:

auspace.athabascau.ca:8080/bitstream/.../david_gregory_fsac09short.doc


12 Sep 14 - 09:46 AM (#3659639)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Have we heard it yet for Rosie Anderson?

One of the most amazing of survivals: a local song about a local scandal, concerning adultery by the wife of the Provost of Perth in the last decade of C18, passed so firmly into tradition for some reason [perhaps its beautiful tune?], that it was included in Logan's "The Pedlar's Pack" collection of 1868; and Gavin Greig found it still being in oral tradition sung well into the second decade of C20.

≈M≈


12 Sep 14 - 09:54 AM (#3659641)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Gutcher

A good example of a misheard traditional ballad in the hands of a composer for a broadside sheet would be "Hannah Le Gordon".

Anent "William and Lady Marjorie" if the mores of the time be known there is more information contained in the first verse of this ballad than can be found in many a 10 to 30 verse ballad.
No explanation forthcoming from any of the experts as to why this one is not included?


12 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM (#3659678)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST

Hi Gutcher,
My take on the Leeds printed copy is that the chap knew the ballad from oral tradition and tried his luck taking it into the printer himself. It's too garbled to have been worked over by an amateur poet.

I've decided to stop using the word 'hack' to describe these people who composed our ballads. It seems so ungrateful for what they left us.

As for 'William and Lady Marjorie' the only 'William and Marjorie' I have is a version of 'Sweet William's Ghost' Child 77, in Motherwell.
I'm no expert but if you can point me in the right direction I'll have a look. I have all of the usual collections including the Scots ones.


12 Sep 14 - 12:49 PM (#3659691)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Sorry that was me Cookieless!


12 Sep 14 - 02:06 PM (#3659714)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Gutcher

Steve.
I only have the ballad W & L M orally from a late neighbour whose father and the Galloway poet Thomas Murray heard it c1860 and the story behind it at the site tradition gives as the scene where it took place, this being Thirlestain Castle two or three miles N.W. of Selkirk, note:- there were two Thirlestain Castles some 15 to 20 miles apart as the crow flies, the one in question being owned by the Scots and it is no longer in existance the other, which can be visited, was the home of the Maitlands one of whom was secretary to Mary Queen of Scots.
When I last checked I was the only person ever to have recorded this one.
I will check up and see if I can find the site where details of recordings can be found.


12 Sep 14 - 02:31 PM (#3659726)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

If you're the only person who has recorded it I think you've answered your own question re inclusion in Child.

However, if you can post it here we can have a look and give you our opinions.


13 Sep 14 - 11:09 AM (#3659877)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Gutcher

Not necessarily Steve. As I understand it Child in his final collection had a main ballad followed by various variations and somewhere he may have included W & L M in that work. Perhaps someone may check this out.
My own 1861 edition of the English and Scottish Ballads does not have these variations, being confined to one named ballad per title.
Take a look at a letter dated 1.6.13 on the Musical Traditions Internet Magazine and on the CBDB site the second last item on the CD
gives the words as sung.


13 Sep 14 - 05:35 PM (#3659968)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

There is no ballad in ESPB with that title. All titles used are in the index. I'll follow your instruction and have a look at it.


13 Sep 14 - 05:46 PM (#3659972)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Joe,
Please forgive my ignorance. CBDB? Child Ballad Database? The letter doesn't give us any extra information above what you've already posted. Googling the initials CBDB brings up all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff but nothing relating to folk ballads that I can see.


13 Sep 14 - 08:20 PM (#3660014)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST

Sorry Steve for the misinformation.
No. 70 in the record section of the Child Ballad Database gives details of W & L M which as far as I can see have no connection with the ballad named as No. 70.
To find the words of W & L M you have to go back to the MTIM site and look up article No. 076


14 Sep 14 - 03:22 AM (#3660043)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Reinhard

Halewijn Vandijk's Child Ballad Database (CBDB) gives Joe Rae's "William and Lady Marjorie" as a (the only) recording of Child 70.

Musical Traditions notes on Joe Rae's album The Broom Blooms Bonny


14 Sep 14 - 12:08 PM (#3660137)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Ah, so your initial posting was an error then, Joe. It is in Child. No probs. Just glad it's sorted.


14 Sep 14 - 03:04 PM (#3660205)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,gutcher

Ballad No 70 as far as I can see bears no resemblance to the one in question.
Is it given as a variation in the final Child collection under this number?.


14 Sep 14 - 04:24 PM (#3660225)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Joe,
I'm sorry old mate, but the version you give is almost word for word Child's A version from Motherwell. It comes out of a book, no matter who passed it onto who afterwards.


15 Sep 14 - 06:02 PM (#3660623)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Joe,
A further apology is needed here. You say the only person to have 'recorded' and I interpreted this wrongly to mean this was the only version of the ballad, interpreting 'recorded' as 'noted down', as both Motherwell and Peter Buchan claimed to have collected a version.

Your version seems to have come directly from Motherwell's version first published in 1827.


15 Sep 14 - 07:11 PM (#3660644)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Jack Campin

I looked through some related threads here and found one which had been pointlessly and counterproductively closed by a mod.

It contained this bit:

Subject: RE: BS: Happy Birthday, Francis J Child
From: Bat Goddess - PM
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 01:50 PM

His grave is in the Sedgwick Pie (he was married to a Sedgwick) in the Stockbridge, Massachusetts cemetery. Very simple marker with his birth and death dates and the words, "Editor, English and Scottish Ballads."


Technology moves on in ways unimaginable to a censorious mod in 2001, and we can now all look at the Sedgwick Pie online and see exactly where Child's grave is.

Sedgwick Pie site

I couldn't find a photo of the gravestone, though. findagrave.com often has them but they don't know about him yet.

It caught my attention because I work in Stockbridge, Edinburgh; I knew about Stockbridge, Mass. because it features in one of Charles Ives's "Three Places in New England":

Ives on YouTube

The pictures used to illustrate the music are mostly gloomy dark brown. Doesn't look like a fun place.


19 Sep 14 - 10:28 AM (#3661835)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Steve, your comment about Joe Rae's ballad, that it "is almost word for word Child's A version from Motherwell. It comes out of a book, no matter who passed it onto who afterwards." is confirmation of something that I have previously written about:

"When the American song collector Alan Lomax visited Scotland in the '50s he had this to say about the singers that he met:

The Scots have the liveliest folk tradition of the British Isles, but paradoxically, it is the most bookish. Everywhere in Scotland I collected songs of written or bookish origin from country singers, and, on the other hand, I constantly encountered bookish Scotsmen who had good traditional versions of the finest folk songs. For this reason I have published songs which show every degree and kind of literary influence."


19 Sep 14 - 10:55 AM (#3661838)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

Thanks for bringing that passage to our attention, Mike.


19 Sep 14 - 12:48 PM (#3661892)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,gutcher

I have been trying without success to obtain a look at the 1890s. Child canon. All I have is the CBDB which gives the title as William an Lady Maisrie, this I understood was a supernatural ballad unlike William and Lady Marjory which if nothing else relates to flesh and blood as shown in the verse:--
"It"s noo this couple tae bed are boun
Tae tak there pleasures there o
And it"s lang ere lang aa the play was ouwr
And Willie he slept soun o.

Robertson and Murray are not to be equated with your book learned collectors but as herds they were meeting folk of their own class who, though literate, were well versed in the oral traditions and songs of their area, where, in those days of limited travel, they were probably as much thirled to the area in which they were dwelling as were their flocks. Bearing this in mind and it being only 30 years or so earlier that the great harvest had been made who can say that the published version was known to their informant.

Thomas Murrays book of poems ran to some 7 editions.

Hello Mike---it must be ten years now since we last met.


19 Sep 14 - 02:33 PM (#3661936)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Hi "Gutcher". hello again, then! Though, sadly, with that name, I am unable to remember who you are!!!


19 Sep 14 - 02:36 PM (#3661938)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Sorry, having re-read some entries, I now know who I am talking to! Sad to say that I am far from the Borders and now live in Wiltshire, though it would be nice to meet up again.


19 Sep 14 - 03:17 PM (#3661947)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Hi Mike, Jon and Joe

Yes, thanks, I read that Lomax statement recently somewhere, perhaps on another thread.

Joe,
Now the ESPB (Child 1882-98) has recently been republished by Loomis copies are very easy to come by, worth a look out on EBay. The Dover pbk edition in 5 vols crops up frequently and odd vols can be obtained for a song. I have my old Dover set so I didn't bother with the Loomis edition. All they have done with this edition is put all the versions in the addendas into the appropriate places under the respective titles/numbers, for instance, all of the versions of a single ballad are now grouped together. Whilst this is useful I'm happy with my Dover. However I did check all of the addendas and the only versions of 70 are the 2 I mentioned.

Mike,
David C Fowler's book 'A Literary History of the Popular Ballad' is very illuminating on the subject of bookish origins for many of the ballads. Unfortunately it only goes as far as 1800 so it doesn't cover Motherwell and P Buchan. Even a very restrained Child had plenty to say on literary influence on the ballads in his headnotes.


19 Sep 14 - 03:32 PM (#3661955)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

I remember reading Fowler many years ago. Like Steve, I found it fascinating and illuminating.

Fowler, unlike some earlier ballad commentators, was a resolute skeptic in matters of "lost folk originals" and the presumed origins of many early ballads.


20 Sep 14 - 08:25 AM (#3662130)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Richard Mellish

Further to Mike Yates's 19 Sep 14 - 10:28 AM posting (but continuing the drift from the proper subject of this thread) Joe's version of The Daemon Lover is almost identical to the version in Scott's Minstrelsy, INCLUDING the four verses that Child attributed to William Laidlaw and therefore omitted from his version F.


23 Sep 14 - 08:43 AM (#3662962)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Seems strange that Lord Willoughby {aka Brave Lord Willoughby &c} does not seem to have been included, as it seems to fulfil all the criteria & is in Percy. I have refreshed an old thread on it to show what I mean.

≈M≈


23 Sep 14 - 10:47 AM (#3663002)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Jim Carroll

Lighter - anybody
Does anyone know where can download a half=decent copy of Child's 'Ballad Poetry' article (thanks for that L) from Johnson's Dictionary?
I've tried 'Lightshotting' it but it's not clear enough
Thanks,
Jim Carroll


23 Sep 14 - 11:32 AM (#3663008)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Steve Gardham

Please double me in with Jim's request.


23 Sep 14 - 12:53 PM (#3663034)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Lighter

Jim, Steve, go here, p. 464:

https://archive.org/stream/johnsonsuniversa01adam#page/466/mode/2up/search/ballad+poetry

An interesting paper on Child and contemporaneous collecting:

auspace.athabascau.ca:8080/bitstream/.../david_gregory_fsac09short.doc


23 Sep 14 - 12:55 PM (#3663039)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Jim Carroll

I understand it has been published in the new edition of Child which, in the words of the lovely Charles Reade poem "in my case, I have not got"
Jim Carroll


23 Sep 14 - 12:58 PM (#3663043)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: MGM·Lion

Henry Reed, I think you mean, Jim -- Lessons Of The War 1: Naming Of Parts.


23 Sep 14 - 01:00 PM (#3663044)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,gutcher

On the subject of oral tradition. My own experience may enlighten some. During a discussion in an educated company I mentioned that my grandfather always stated that some people would walk 50 miles in a day, this was received with incredulity and derision by these folk,
However a few weeks later when reading a biography of Thomas Carlyle I found he stated that just prior to the advent of the railway system the longest walk he completed in one day was 54 miles, from Muirkirk in Ayrshire to the town of Dumfries.
Having just finished reading an NMS book entitled "From Kelso To Kalamazoo" the memoirs of George Taylor I find that Mr Taylor often walked 50 miles to Edinburgh in 14 hrs. and on one occasion he was accompanied by a sister taking the roughly the same time.
The ootby herd folk were the elite of the agricultural workers often owning a part of the sheep stock, this along with their own horses, dairy cows, pigs, hens and ducks made them in a lot of cases
independant of a monetary wage, this was evident in our own family by the fact my Grandfather always had his pony and trap and when in 1944 my two youngest uncles came of age to drive he became a car owner a thing almost unknown in that era for working folk.
My own formative years were unencumbered by outside alien cultures a fact for which I am eternally grateful.
As regards my Grandfathers generation and and those prior generations they, although literate, had a great store of oral stories and songs, the only drawback being, something which people nowadays find hard to comprehend, the isolation and difficulty of obtaining the books then on the market which along with there cost I would imagine made for a very small library in many cases.


23 Sep 14 - 02:37 PM (#3663085)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Walking 54 miles in one day is pretty impressive. As a young boy I was equally impressed when my grandfather told me that he and his parents once walked seven miles into Blackburn (Lancashire) to hear Marie LLoyd sing in a Saturday night Music Hall. They then walked the seven miles back home after the event. "What was she like?" I asked him. His reply, which I can still clearly remember, was, "Bloody good!"


24 Sep 14 - 12:38 PM (#3663352)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

"It's forty miles I've been today.
I spied a cottage all on the way."


24 Sep 14 - 12:59 PM (#3663359)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Jim Carroll

Henry Reid it is Mike - lovely poem
Charles Reade - the other one 'Cloister and the Hearth?
Must go off and- in the middle of easing the spring
Jim Carroll


25 Sep 14 - 03:43 AM (#3663506)
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
From: Jim Carroll

'Reed' of course, Mike - bloody double tasking
Jim Carroll