Some old Scots Child Ballads with tunes To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
5 messages

Some old Scots Child Ballads with tunes

23 Apr 98 - 01:31 PM (#26369)
Subject: Some old Scots Child Ballads
From: Bruce O.

More great things from the general editor of 'The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection'. I don't have all of her books, but those I do have are of exceptional quality.

An addendum to Dr. Emily Lyle's 'Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs' (1820's), 2. vol. 1975, 1996, Scottish Text Society, 27 George St., Edinburgh.

Cassette tape, STS 01. Jo Miller singing 10 Child ballads collected by Andrew Crawfurd and Wm. Motherwell, with tunes as noted by Andrew Blaikie in Paisley in 1826, from Mary Macqueen (Mrs. Wm. Storrie) [for other Blaikie tie-ins see my Scots MS and Irish titles indexes on my website]

I refrain from trying to summarize Dr. Lyle's notes (tracing of songs and tunes even to later generations of the Macqueen family in North America) in her book and for the cassette tape.

Side 1:
#1; "Lord Bangwell's Adventure", Child #5 = "Gil Brenton". Child doesn't have this text, and of the 8 texts he gives the only one for which there might be a tune is that in Scott's 'Minstrelsy..'
#2; "Bob Norrice", Child #83C = "Child Maurice". Mary Macqueen's text, but no mention of a tune for any of the 7 versions Child gave.
#3; "William and the Young Colonel", Child 88 = "Young Johnstone". Child doesn't have this, nor, apparently, any with a known tune.
#4; "Sir Hugh", Child #155, Child gives many texts, but none with tunes.
#5; "The Merry Lykewake", Child #25D = "Willie's Lykewake". Child has only a fragment of the text here from an Appendix in Motherwell's 'Minstrelsy', with no mention of a singer or tune. Apparently the only 'early' tune is that for #25Bb in Christie's 'Traditional Ballad Airs', and Child does not mention that there's a tune there.

Side 2:
#6; "The Auld Wife in the Peat Creel", Child #281 = "The Keech in the Creel". Child did't get this version, apparently Motherwell didn't print it or its tune. Child pointed out that the story is an old one. The 17th century "Contiving Lover" on my website is an earlier version of the tale.
#7; "The Laird of Ochiltree Walls", Child # 217D = "The Broom of Cowdenknowes" from Motherwell's (text) MS. Child didn't mention a tune. There is one for #217Bb, SMM.
#8; "Lady Jean", Child #52 = "The King's Dochter Lady Jean". Child's A text is from Motherwell's MS, and from there from Mrs (William) Storie, i.e., Mary MacQueen. Child mentions no tune for any of the 4 (or 5) texts he found.
#9; "Earl Richard", Child #68 = "Young Hunting". Child didn't find this one or its tune. Unless S. Walter Scott's conflated version in 'Minstrelsy..Scottish Border' had a tune there isn't any other tune than Mary Macqueen's for an early text.
#10; "The Three Ravens", Child #26 = "The Three Ravens", Child gives 'Melsimata' text and cites all others as variants. He mentions that Mr. Blaikie noted a tune for an unprinted copy (that on the cassette).

20 Nov 02 - 09:58 AM (#830685)
Subject: RE: Some old Scots Child Ballads with tunes
From: sharyn

I'm reviving this thread for two reasons: 1. I'm interested in obtaining the cassette mentioned and have no idea of how to find it and 2. I'm interested in hearing a recorded version of Gil Brenton (Child #5). Does anyone have one? I can't play music files on my computer, so I need to obtain a cassette, L.P. or CD.


20 Nov 02 - 02:24 PM (#830924)
Subject: RE: Some old Scots Child Ballads with tunes
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Sharyn - apparently, Jo Miller is or was an instructor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. This Jean Redpath Page has an e-mail address for Jo, and this page at the RSAMD has her listed as a current faculty member but does not give an e-mail address.
I found location information through this google search (click). Wouldn't you love to take a degree program in Scottish Music?
-Joe Offer-

21 Nov 02 - 02:08 AM (#831371)
Subject: RE: Some old Scots Child Ballads with tunes
From: Sandy Paton

Sharyn, if you're interested in "The King's Dochter Lady Jean," the late Sara Cleveland sang the only version ever collected in the United States for me back in the early 60s. She called it "Queen Jane" (no relation to the "Queen Jane lay in labor" ballad), and I included it on her Folk-Legacy album: "Sara Cleveland - Songs and Ballads of the Upper Hudson Valley." Thats' C-33 in my catalog, available at this time only as a custom cassette, but it comes with the with booklet of texts and notes on her songs that accompanied the original LP. Sara's parents immigrated from Ireland, but her mother lived for several years in Scotland before coming to this country. Sara learned her songs from her parents, other members of her family, and from friends in her Adirondack/Hudson Valley community. Many of her songs were clearly of Scottish origin. I've forgotten how to do the blue clickie things, but my web site is at, if you want to check it out. You sound to me like a person who would be interested in learning a number of Sara's songs.

21 Nov 02 - 12:52 PM (#831771)
Subject: RE: Some old Scots Child Ballads with tunes
From: sharyn

Thanks all.

Sandy, I'm off to Vancouver today to sing ballads. I'll check out Sara Cleveland on my return. Thanks for the reference.

Meanwhile, I'm still after a recording of Gil Brenton -- anybody know of one?