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Jon Bartlett Origins: Why didn't Lamkin get paid? (84* d) RE: Origins: Why didn't Lamkin get paid? 02 Aug 15

The point I wanted to make was that the earliest set in print (Child's K) comes in 1775 from a Kentish churchman to Bishop Percy. Its first verse is:

My lord said to my lady
When he went from home
Take care of Long Longkin
He lies in the lone.

Only one of the Scottish sources follows this incipit - Child's D, from Maidment and ultimately from a ms. copy from oral tradition. All the other sources Child quotes are English F (from Notes & Queries, Northumberland and Northamptonshire); G (Richardson, from Northumberland)and U (Allingham, from Ireland).

All the other Scottish sets (A (Jamieson, from Mrs. Brown), B Motherwell's Ms from a Kilbarchan recitation; C (Motherwell again, also from a Kilbarchan recitation); E (Kinloch Mss.); H (Kinloch again; I (Skene Mss); J (Kinloch again); N (Robertson); P (Herd Mss.); Q (Finlay's Scottish Ballads); and S (Motherwell) speak of a mason.

It looks like we have two distinct versions of the song. It isn't that the English sets have lost the mason - it's clearly that the Scottish sets ADD the mason. This might be the work of Annie Brown (whose set is the only one with the magnificent

There need nae basin, Lamkin,
lat it run through the floor;
What better is the heart's blood
o the rich than o the poor?)

What indeed?

Jon Bartlett

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