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Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads

Related threads:
Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 3 (68)
Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 2 (129) (closed)
James Madison Carpenter shanties (38)
Sir Patrick Spens in Madison Carpenter (6)
Help: James Madison Carpenter (6)


Richie 21 Mar 18 - 11:59 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Mar 18 - 04:49 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Mar 18 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Mar 18 - 12:36 PM
Richie 21 Mar 18 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Shimmering 21 Mar 18 - 11:31 AM
Brian Peters 21 Mar 18 - 11:16 AM
Richie 21 Mar 18 - 10:58 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Mar 18 - 01:19 PM
Brian Peters 20 Mar 18 - 09:26 AM
Lighter 20 Mar 18 - 08:23 AM
Brian Peters 20 Mar 18 - 05:33 AM
Richie 19 Mar 18 - 10:29 PM
Richie 19 Mar 18 - 06:32 PM
Richie 19 Mar 18 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Mar 18 - 05:39 PM
Richie 19 Mar 18 - 05:28 PM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 18 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Mar 18 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Mar 18 - 03:59 PM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 18 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Mar 18 - 01:30 PM
Richie 19 Mar 18 - 12:41 PM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 18 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Mar 18 - 10:22 AM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 18 - 08:39 AM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 18 - 07:31 AM
Richie 19 Mar 18 - 12:06 AM
Richie 18 Mar 18 - 07:43 PM
Lighter 18 Mar 18 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Mar 18 - 03:32 PM
Richie 18 Mar 18 - 02:50 PM
Richie 18 Mar 18 - 02:19 PM
Lighter 17 Mar 18 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Shimmering 17 Mar 18 - 05:02 PM
Lighter 16 Mar 18 - 03:12 PM
Richie 16 Mar 18 - 10:57 AM
Richie 16 Mar 18 - 10:12 AM
Lighter 16 Mar 18 - 09:44 AM
Richie 15 Mar 18 - 10:46 PM
Richie 15 Mar 18 - 08:44 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Mar 18 - 10:34 AM
OldNicKilby 15 Mar 18 - 08:40 AM
Richie 15 Mar 18 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Carl in VT 14 Mar 18 - 11:12 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Mar 18 - 04:50 PM
Richie 14 Mar 18 - 03:31 PM
Brian Peters 14 Mar 18 - 09:50 AM
Richie 13 Mar 18 - 05:34 PM
Richie 13 Mar 18 - 03:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 11:59 PM

Hi,

TY, I think it says: A -- begin "e" as in similar to Child A with the beginning of Child E. It's not specifically a Child version nor Alex Robb's version and with the corrections written in that are not from other versions it seems to be unique. The question is: Why if it's an important version-- is it not labeled or attributed? Maybe as Steve said: It's a created composite.

I'm switching to James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads 2 (part 2) and have started the thread- very busy but I'll try and put a new ballad on every day from Carpenter Collection. Child 4 is intimidating in its scope and breadth so I'll need help,

TY everyone

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 04:49 PM

It could be begin "e".

I did look at the handwriting on the entry titled May Colvin a couple of items further along in the search Richie gave above for Brian. His (what I presume is) fast handwriting is hard to read. Look at his writing of Colvin.

Several of his pages have indications like A _ e _. I did wonder if they were indications of Child versions.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 03:53 PM

It looks like a composite version to me made from Child A with alterations from the likes of Greig-Duncan (Alexander Robb).
It should be possible by looking at C's handwriting to work out what it says 'figure'? 'begin'? 'fugue'?


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 12:36 PM

Richie, Brian - re 'mystery text'.

I think the "e" might refer to Child's E version from Motherwell mss, which has the same refrain lines (in fact almost identical 1st verse):

The Elfin Knight sits on yon hill
Ba ba lilly ba
Blowing his horn loud and shill
And the wind has blawn my plaid awa.

The word could be Esquire, but I'm not sure, and don't know what it means if it is.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 11:35 AM

Hi,

Yes, Brian. That's the one, it's not exactly like any of the text I have. There may not be any more info about it available other than the notation in pen in the top right corner,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Shimmering
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 11:31 AM

I checked out the Swedish (language) relative of Child 3 referred to in the PhD thesis linked above. Very interesting. I think it is pretty obscure --- the text is printed in a Finnish-language title (from Finland of course). It's certainly not anything I had seen before. Anyway, the form of the whole ballad seems very close to the Child 3 versions. Much more so than a lot of the so-called correspondences with Scandinavian ballads ...


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 11:16 AM

You mean this one?

I don't know enough about the Carpenter papers to help you, but I thought I might at least narrow down which one you're talking about.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 10:58 AM

Hi,

Steve: All texts are up, the complete list is here with my headnotes- roughed in for now: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/brittish--other-versions-of-false-knight-.aspx The British versions are attached on this page. I also included info from Minton's article and his method of classification which is also flawed.

Brian: The Coates/Gentry is a distinct form as found in Quinn's version and Niles version also. Perhaps this form is a way to group these versions.

All: I only have two versions of the French-Canadian: "Où Vas-Tu, Mon Petit Garçon?" but there are more-- for now I'm moving on.

I need help identifying this Carpenter text mislabeled Roud 21 which should be Roud 12. It's a very complete version of Child A, Elfin Knight:
https://www.vwml.org/search?q=RN21%20Carpenter&is=1 There's no information about it at VWML, a mystery text but an excellent one. I can't read the words in pen in top right corner: A-- Gigine "e" or make sense of it. I guess I need to contact whoever is in charge of putting the texts on VWML for info. How do I do that?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 01:19 PM

Great stuff all round! I might have a go at a close text analysis if you haven't already beat me to it, Richie. Marvellous to see several experts analysing the tunes for a change. That's what's needed so badly in ballad study. Are all the texts of 3 up on your site yet, Richie?

Good idea to start another thread for the next one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 09:26 AM

Before we leave Child 3, that MacSweeney version from Dublin is quite close textually to the Coates and the Gentry versions, though it omits land/staff and sea/boat.

Coates and Gentry are in fact strikingly similar textually. That does suggest some shared history, so perhaps this wasn't one of the ballads that Jane G brought with her from Watauga Co.

None of them have sheep or cows with blue (or no) tails. Is this a feature of Scots texts only? I haven't had time to check them all so far.

Thanks again Richie for making such a comprehensive list.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 08:23 AM

Like he said.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 05:33 AM

Good idea, Richie - keep 'em coming.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 10:29 PM

Hi,

I've leave Child 3 with a few more tidbits from Ireland (from my website):

The ballad was popular enough in Ireland to be parodied in "Poems and Ballads of Young Ireland," 1888 by William Butler Yeats. Only the opening was used in the poem:

THE FALSE BARON OF BRAY. written by T. W. Rolleston,

“AND where are we going?” said the fair young child
To the false false Baron of Bray, -
As mounted before him, she prattled and she smiled,
And looked in his face with her blue eyes mild,
As she rode on his charger away.


In his article (see The Modern Language Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Apr., 1917, pp. 203-205) "The Fause Knight upon the Road," Joseph J. MacSweeney gives a version from County Dublin he learned in 1912 from his mother. He gives some background then the text:

The version of 'The Fause Knight upon the Road' which I record is, like all the known versions of this ballad, incomplete, for the last stanzas were not remembered, as is so very often the case. The traditional account of the climax is that the little child outwitted the false Knight, and forced him to reveal himself in his true character as the fiend. It is therefore possible that the latter was forced, on being known to the little child, to go away in a flame after the manner of his departure in some other cases. I here record the ballad as I heard it [7], though it would appear probable that the last two lines I quote belong to the fifth stanza, and that it is the last two lines of the latter stanza which should be left isolated.

The Old False Knight

1. 'Where are you going ?' says the old false knight,
To the pretty little child on the road;
'I am going to the school,' says the pretty little child
That was scarcely seven year old.

2. 'What have you on your back ?' says the old false knight,
To the pretty little child on the road;
'I have my books on my back,' says the pretty little child
That was scarcely seven year old.

3. 'What have you in your hand?' says the old false knight,
To the pretty little child on the road;
'A cut of bread and butter,' says the pretty little child
That was scarcely seven year old.

4. 'Will you give me a bite?' says the old false knight,
To the pretty little child on the road;
'No not a crumb,' says the pretty little child
That was scarcely seven year old.

5. 'Are you going down to Hell ?' said the old false knight,
To the pretty little child on the road;
'Who'll ring the bell ?' said the pretty little child
That was scarcely seven year old.

6. . . . .
. . . .
'You may go there yourself,' said the pretty little child
That was scarcely seven year old.

* * * *

On to Carpenter and "False Sir John," I may start another thread- part 2 since this one is getting long.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 06:32 PM

Hi,

Mea Culpa-- played Coates version and the first phrase (not counting intro line) ends on the flat-seven chord. It's a mixolydian mode very different sound. The first phrase does go up on "knight" as the melody I sing. The second part (third phrase) "He stood and he stood" goes up higher but on the second beat instead of the first and ends on the flat 7 chord again.

So yeah it seems completely different although the contour is similar, I should have looked at it more closely,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 05:47 PM

Hi,

Steve Roud has a million versions to worry about :) I only have a few in comparison- and- I make mistakes cause I go fast and can't type :)

You'll notice that I'm moderator and most of my typos magically are fixed- but my errors in judgement remain- can't delete those!!! But some new things are being said and that enough for me. Plus I can fix and improve the info on my site- and I need to carefully consider points made on this thread before deciding what I do on my site.

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 05:39 PM

Brian and Richie - thanks for the updates on the English versions.

What is the world coming to when you can't rely on things you read on the internet?!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 05:28 PM

OK Mick,

Mr. Smart's version is Child 1 and so is Jeff Wesley but it's 1988. They're just categorized wrong by Roud. I have the two others on my site under English versions. I also have a couple US versions that don't conform to the parameters of "Scottish" or "Irish"

I'll play both versions Caotes/Quinn but usually I can tell from the contour and text but it could be in different mode. I also solfege and sight sing so maybe I just assumed from the contour they were the same- without playing them.

Brian, yes I should not present Coates as an Irish version although it could be. And, Yates gave more information which should have been included so an informed decision by the reader could be made.

The two English versions do not, in my opinion, constitute a tradition- however there could have been other versions that were older and overlooked (but you'd think they would have been found in the early 1900s).

The ballad disappeared in the UK for a number of years, the Scottish travellers were singing it:

   j. "False Knight," sung by Nellie MacGregor of Perthshire in 1954. Pentatonic V. A two-phrase tune, Form AA. Collected by Hamlish Henderson; from Scottish Studies - Volumes 9-10 - page 12, 1965.
   k. "False Knight." Sung by Duncan MacPhee, recorded in the Hamlish Henderson in the berryfields of Blairgowrie, Perthshire in the summer of 1955. He uses the tune - "The Rose Tree." Published with music in Scottish Studies - Volumes 9-10 - Page 10, 1965.
   l. "The False Knight upon the Road," sung by Charlotte Higgins 1895-1971 of Perthshire, Blairgowrie. Born on the moss between Torphins and Lumphanan, and travelled in Aberdeenshire before settling in Blairgowrie. Recorded by Hamish Henderson, 1958. Fragment from: Collection - School of Scottish Studies; Original Track ID - SA1958.64.A5
   m. "The False Knight upon the Road." As sung by Belle Stewart, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. August 1964. Learned from Ruby Kelby's mother, Christina MacKenzie; from "Till Doomsday in the Afternoon: The Folklore of a Family of Scots Travelers" by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger.
   n. "False Knight," sung by Willie Whyte of Hayton, Aberdeen (Pentatonic I Form AABA.) before 1965 (1962?). His melody was "The Rose Tree." From Scottish Studies - Volumes 9-10 - page 12, 1965.
   o. The Fause Knight Upon the Road- sung by Norman Kennedy of Aberdeenshire. From Norman Kennedy's 1968 Folk-Legacy album "Ballads & Songs of Scotland." Kennedy a native of from Aberdeen came to the US about 1965. Sung to the traditional Scottish tune, "Rose Tree."
   p. "The False Knight Upon the Road," sung by Johnnie Whyte of Perthshire Recorded in 1975 and 1978 by Mrs. Williamson; He learned the song when she was small from his mother; from Mrs. Linda Williamsons (wife of Duncan Williamson) 1985 thesis on Scottish Travellers (Narrative Singing Among Scots Travellers

I appreciate the feedback, as always,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 05:15 PM

Mick, the Smart and Wesley entries are both actually Child 1, incorrectly entered in the online RI.. Jeff Wesley's is actually the American 'Ninety-Nine and Ninety' version, learned somehow from the folk revival.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 04:07 PM

Sorry about previous - accidentally submitted.

I went through the Roud Index counting up version by location the other day.

While the USA and Scotland had many entries (41 and 28 I think; I didn't try to resolve these into individual sources), England, Ireland and Northern Ireland provide relatively modest numbers.

England comes down to 4 sources - Mr,Smart (FSUT), and three more recent: Mrs Eyre (1962, coll.Collinson, Glouc.), Mrs Stanley (1967, the Cheshire version referred to above), and Jeff Wesley (1888, Northampton).

N.Ireland boils down to the Quinn version.

Ireland gives only the Maturin reference given above.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 03:59 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 03:31 PM

Mick:

Thanks for transcribing the Quinn tune. There are however several errors in that abc of Coates.

When I said "the first three notes" I should have said the initial progression from lower dominant to tonic (i.e. D to G in the key of G). In the Coates abc the first note of the main tune is given incorrectly as a high D.

Richie:
"To me it was instantly clear that the Coates and Quinn are the same after looking at the Coates melody."

I don't see how you can say they are 'the same'. There are similarities (at least partly arising from the textual pattern) but the contours are different.

The Gentry version also has a similar text format, and the leap to high G on 'stood' does recall Coates. Again there are substantial differences to the Quinn tune contour.

There's not a tradition in England but theses should be separate.

There may be a typo here, but we know of two variants from England, both listed on your site. How is this "not a tradition"? There is relatively little evidence for English balladry in the late 18th / early 19th century, but the existence of those two at least suggests some previous history.

"We don't know if Mrs. Coates nee Allen learned it from her family or her husband's so its conjecture"

Exactly - so you need to be careful about using it to support a link with Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 01:30 PM

Brian/Richie

Here are the transcriptions of Quinn and Coates. (Quinn is mine, Coates I'd already taken from bluegrassmessengers).

X:1
T:False Knight On The Road
C:Frank Quinn
L:1/8
Q:1/4=76
M:2/4
Z: MCP
K:C
D | GG GG | (ed) BA | G2 ED | (E G2)
w: What|brings you here so|late _ says the|knight on the|ro- ad
D | GG GG | (ed) dB | B2 AG | A2
w: I|go to meet my|God_ said the|child as he|stood
Bd | e2 ed | B2 GA | (BA G)E | D3
w: And he|stood and he|stood and 'twere|we- - ll he|stood
D | GG GG | (ed) BA | G2 ED | (E G2) |]
w: I|go to meet my|God_ said the|child as he|stood_ |]


X:5
T:The False Knight upon the Road
T:The Fause Knight upon the Road
C:Trad
B:Bronson
O:Sharp MSS., 3369/2466. Also in Sharp and Karpeles, 1932,
O:I, p. 3(A); and, with piano accompaniment, in Sharp, 1918,
O:p. 20. Sung by Mrs. T. G. Coates, Flag Pond, Tenn., September I, 19I6.
N:Child 5
N:1932 gives Fnatural (i.e. transposed D natural) in tne in the penultimate bar.
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:Gmix % Heptatonic ( -6 +7#)
c | d2 cc | [M:3/4] d3 c AG |
w:The knight met a child in the
G4 z |: d | G3 A/B/ A/A/G | G^F G2 cc |
w:road. O where are you go-ing to? said the knight in the
d3 c AG | F6 | G3 A/B/ AG |
w:road, (knight in the road) I'm a-*go-ing
G^F G2 cc | d3 c AG | [M:2/4] G3 c |
w:to my school, said the child as he* stood. He
[M:4/4] d2 gg f2 fd | c3/ d/ d A/G/ F4 | [M:3/4] G3 A/B/ AG |
w:stood and he stood and it's well be-cause he* stood. I'm a-*go-ing
G^F G2 cc | d3 c AG | G4 z :|
w:to my school, said the child as he* stood.


Brian - I disagree about the 1st 3 notes, but you're right about stood... , there is something similar in the shape there.


Richie -minor point - your 1932 note in the abc says F# where it should say Fnatural.

I still don't think the tunes are very similar!.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 12:41 PM

Hi,

Brian-- Mick,

I put the Coates melody on my site here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/english-and-other-versions-of-fause-knight.aspx

I'm not saying the melody is exactly the same but the contour is (which is the quick recognition I use) and the form (text) is the same. The Irish melody I know and sing is the same as the Quinn covers Richard Thompson, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, Oysterband, Fleet Foxes, and Outside Track to name a few. To me it was instantly clear that the Coates and Quinn are the same after looking at the Coates melody.

It's clear to me, and you may disagree, but the Coates, Jane Hicks Gentry/ Maude Gentry are the same type as Quninn's type. We don't know if Mrs. Coates nee Allen learned it from her family or her husband's so its conjecture- just hat the Coates family was in Cheraw SC in the late 1700s and moved to NC from there.

This is what I have for the Irish versions- which is quite different than Edmunds:

A. Irish versions; including versions from America from Irish/American informants (standard melody: "Uist Tramping Song" c. 1700s ref. Ulster Folklife)
   a. False Knight- my title, two stanzas sung by a madwoman in the Dublin area from the novel: "Women, Or, Pour Et Contre: A Tale," page 26 by Charles Robert Maturin, 1818.
   b. "False Knight On The Road." Sung by Margaret Sullivan (Mrs. E.M. Sullivan) about 1865. From Flanders Ancient Ballads, 1966 and Ballads Migrant in New England, 1932. Sullivan was born in County Cork, Ireland about 1855. Learned in her childhood.
   c. "Fol Fly on the Road." Sung before 1870, in Fort Kent, Me., by a French girl who could speak very little English, as learned from an illiterate Irish family. From "The False Knight upon the Road," A, Folk-Songs of the North Atlantic States recollected by M. L. F., Portland, Me., Oct. 16, 1907. Also published in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 24, No. 93 (Jul. - Sep., 1911), pp. 344-349.
   d. "Knight on the Road" Sung by Mrs. T. G. Coates of Flag Pond, Tennessee on Sept. 1, 1916. From Sharp MSS 3369/2466; Sharp & Karpeles, English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians, 1932, I p. 3.
   e. "Knight in the Road." Sung by Mrs. Jane (Hicks) Gentry, from Madison County, NC, was one of Cecil Sharp's main informants. Sharp & Karpeles, English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians, 1932, I p. 4.
   f. "The Smart Schoolboy." Sung by Preston Wolford of Virginia, 1935, collected by John Jacob Niles; from Niles, Ballad Book, 1966.
   g. "The False Knight upon the Road" Sung by Mrs. Maud Long of Hot Springs, North Carolina, at Washington, D. C., 1947. Recorded by Duncan Emrich.
   h. "The False Knight on the Road" sung by Frank Quinn of Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, Ireland in 1958 as recorded by Sean O'Boyle. Topic, The Folksongs of Britain IV, 'The Child Ballads'. Also in J. Taylor & Michael Yates, eds., Ballads and Songs, Vol 6.

Edmunds includes several versions which are not similar enough to include in the group. Some of the versions in this group are not the same form.

There's also an Irish/Newfoundland group (False false Fly) which has text from Child 1 which includes Barry Gleeson/Ben Henneberry (NL) Archie Fisher etc. Barry's version (c. 1870) may be part of that group only one stanza.

Brian thanks for pointing out the similarity between Creighton & Senior) and Dearnley. There's not a tradition in England but these should be separate.

Hard to categorize these- I can't agree with Edmunds who doesn't consider the melody- she doesn't give the Coates as related melodically and instead give Niles version which seems to be based on Coates. Edmunds includes a number of versions under the "Irish" group which I can't include.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 11:34 AM

Actually Mick, I was singing through both the Coates and Quinn tunes while cycling over the hills, and 'nothing like' was perhaps too strong.

The first three notes are almost the same, and the third line ('he stood and he stood...') does have something of the same shape about it. The repeat patterns in the text are also alike, and different from the other versions in Bronson.

Incidentally, if we're looking for Transatlantic similarities, Bronson 2 (Creighton & Senior) is much the same shape as Dearnley's rather odd version from Cheshire.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 10:22 AM

I agree about the tunes. Mrs Coates' tune is nothing like Frank Quinn's. In fact after a quick look at Bronson, none of the tunes there are like Frank Quinn's either. (Both Mrs Coates' tune and Frank Quinn's seem quite singular).

In fact the Ulster Folklife quote above (But here is a Scots Ballad which, although it must be over two hundred years in these parts, is still sung to the air of The Uist Tramping Song:) doesn't imply that the Uist Tramping Song melody was used for 200 years, only that the words were about for 200 years, and are currently (my emphasis) being sung to the Uist Tramping Song melody. This could be a recent (but popular) marrying of words and tune. The 1938 copyright on Songs Of the Isles would have allowed the tune to be known to Frank Quinn (or his ultimate source). As Lighter says above Roberton's Songs Of The Isles clearly gives John R Bannerman as composer of the tune, whereas elsewhere in the book he credits other tunes as traditional.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 08:39 AM

"Yes, the Coates believe they were originally Irish. This would corroborate the Ulster Folklife claim and date."

But the ballad was sung to Sharp by Mrs Coates (nee Allen). She claimed German or Dutch descent, although Sharp believed her brother John Allen to be Scots. Of course it doesn't necessarily follow that she had learned the ballad within her own family anyway.

Sharp found one other example of Child 3, which he collected from Jane Gentry - I'm sure Richie will shortly be getting to that one. FWIW, Gentry's family - from Watauga Co., NC - claimed English descent. Again we can't say for certain whether the ballad arrived in America with her ancestors, or with later migrants. It's certainly one of the rarer ballads in Appalachia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 07:31 AM

"Sharp A which was collected in 1916 (Tennessee) has the same melody and text"

Richie, I'm not sure which melody you're saying is the same as that collected by Sharp from Mrs. Coates. Her tune doesn't sound anything like Frank Quinn's to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 12:06 AM

Hi,

According to Edmunds the other versions are Scottish. In 1954 Hamish Henderson collected a stanza of this previously "lost" ballad from a "Scottish tinker" and the next year collected a version from Duncan MacPhee in the berryfields of Blairgowrie, Perthshire in the summer of 1955.

This uses the Old Scottish melody called “The Old Lea Rigg” or “The Rose Tree” that dates back to at least 1774. Henderson's 1962 version from William Whyte of Aberdeenshire also had the melody.

One of the better traditional versions that clearly has the Rose Tree melody is sung by Norman Kennedy of Aberdeenshire in 1968: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW0U1WEoEks Anyone know his source?

Child B from Motherwell has a melody which resembles "Rose Tree" but it's not close enough to identify as that melody. McMath's melody, taken from his aunt who learned it c. 1830s is closer to "Rose Tree" (first strain) and may be a variant. Listen also to the Steeleye Span version on Youtube.

There are also a number of versions at the Scottish Studies site: Bella Higgins sings the first strain only as her melody: http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/11389/3 which dates back to circa 1900.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 07:43 PM

Hi,

Lighter, I assume the Ulster tune is Quinn's tune, which is the version I sing. That same tune and text was collected by Sharp in Tennessee in 1916 from the Coates family-- and it's reasonable to presume that they came from Ireland to South Carolina in the late 1700s (maybe early 1800s) before coming to Tennessee. The "Knight on the Road" tune was simply used for "Tramping Song" with new words around 1939. That's my quick conclusion. What I wonder is whose version is on Ulster Folklife-- it's obviously identical to Quinn's first stanza but it may not be his or is unattributed.

Mick- yes, I've had the Edmunds on my site for a few years now: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/english-riddle-ballads--false-knight-on-the-road.aspx This is only the Chapter on Child 3 but it's easier to use and you can copy text from it. I can only describe her writing in a word: brilliant!

There are a few other articles on False Knight there too,

TY for sharing I should have included the link earlier,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 04:14 PM

> although it must be over two hundred years in these parts, is still sung to the air of The Uist Tramping Song,

Given the 1937 copyright information, the simplest interpretation of the above is that the writer believed

a) that "False Knight" had been sung in those parts for over 200 years, and

b) that the "Uist Tramping Song" (or its tune) is over 200 years old, and

c) that the ballad is currently sung to the tune of the "Tramping Song."

Without two-centuries-old evidence to back it up, there's no reason to assume that *either* belief "a" or "b" is necessarily true.

"C," however, is evidently factual.

If "a" and "b" are supportable, there will be contemporaneous evidence. We can't logically assume it is exists unless we see it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 03:32 PM

Richie

I don't think it is in the Exeter Book riddles! (I did a quick scan of them, so I could be wrong).

Incidentally, have you seen this thesis: Susan Edmunds- The English riddle ballads (pdf). She has a chapter on whether the things in the ballads really are riddles and classifies the types found in them. (She conclude some are!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 02:50 PM

Hi Shimmering,

I don't consider Child 3 a riddling ballad, it seems to be a forming of archaic verbal jousting called "flyting." It's there that an antecedent may be found.

As for the Exeter book, I think it's possible the courting riddles of Child 2 Elphin Knight/Scarborough Fair, may be found. As I remember one old riddle known as Dr. Whewell's riddle,

A headless man had a letter (o) to write,
He who read it (naught) had lost his sight;
The dumb repeated it (naught) word for word,
And deaf was the man who listened and heard (naught).

was part of the Exeter riddles, but now I can't remember where I read it. See part of the riddle as last stanza in "Cambrick Shirt" dated Feb. 1867 as taken from from a "lady from Cornwall" who herself had heard it "when a child" from an "old woman of St. Ives:

       Can you make me a cambrick shirt,
       Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
       Without any seam or needle work?
       And I will be a true lover of thine.

       Can you wash it in yonder well,
       Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
       Where never sprung water nor rain never fell?
       And I will be a true lover of thine.

       Can you dry it on yonder thorn,
       Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
       Which never bore blossom since Adam was born?
       And I will be a true lover of thine.

       Now you have asked me questions three,
       Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
       As many wonders I'll tell to thee
       If thou wilt be a true lover of mine.

       A handless man a letter did write[1],
       Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
       And he who read it had lost his sight,
       And thou shalt be a true lover of mine.

Where is this riddle found in the Exeter riddles?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 02:19 PM

Hi Lighter thanks,

We can assume then that the words and song were 1939 but that the melody was older and probably borrowed since according to Ulster Folklife, it was sung for two hundred years as the "False Knight."

This same melody and text, probably originating from Quinn's version is, one of the most popular ones and has been used by Oysterband, Richard Thompson, Hart and Prior, Fleet Foxes and Outside Track-- to name just a few a few covers.

However, to verify the traditionality of the Irish version we have to look to the US at versions brought over from the UK since there aren't earlier Irish ones. Luckily, Sharp A which was collected in 1916 (Tennessee) has the same melody and text:

THE FALSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD- from Mrs. T.G. Coates, TN 1916; Collected by Sharp.

O where are you going to?
Said the knight on the road
I'm a-going to my school,
Said the Child as he stood.
He stood and he stood,
And it's well because he stood
I'm a-going to my school
Said the child as he stood.

O what are you going there for?
For to learn the word of God.

O what have you got there?
I have got my bread and cheese.

O won't you give me some?
No, ne'er a bit nor crumb.

I wish you was on the sands.
Yes, and a good staff in my hands.

I wish you was on the sea
Yes, and a good boat under me.

I think I hear a bell.
Yes, and it's ringing you to hell.

There's even an intro narrative: "The knight met a child on the road..." If we look at Mike Yates article on the Coates family (The Greatest Prize) we find this: 'According to Coates' family tradition, the first members of the family had arrived in America as 'Irish missionaries' and had settled originally in South Carolina. . ."

Yes, the Coates believe they were originally Irish. This would corroborate the Ulster Folklife claim and date.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 07:45 PM

Not only "Geordie's Byre."

It also sounds a lot like the Jacobite song "Ghille Mhoir."

Sort of in between.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Shimmering
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 05:02 PM

I've only just started reading this thread ... so if anyone is interested in the Exeter Book riddles (the Anglo Saxon riddles), this here is a blog I follow that gives the riddles in OE, translation, and commentary.

They are not really similar to the riddles in Child 1: they are all much longer, more complicated, and the answers are not given and are not always obvious ...


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 03:12 PM

Richie, in this case I think we can rely on the copyright date.

Roberton's "Songs of the Isles" (1950), p. 36, includes the Uist song with the 1937 copyright notice.

The credits read, "The original Gaelic words by Archibald MacDonald, Uist. The English words by Hugh S. Roberton. Tune by John R. Bannerman arranged by Hugh S. Roberton."

It thus seems that the "song" originated as a Gaelic poem by MacDonald, whose words may or may not have been translated by Roberton himself.

Roberton identifies most of the melodies in "Songs of the Isles" as "Traditional" or "Old Highland air" or similar. But a few are clearly attributed to current composers as original tunes.

"Westering Home" (crt. 1939 by Hugh S. Roberton) is interesting because Roberton claims the words and the stanza melody, but attributes that of the chorus to "the singing of Donald McIsaac."

Roberton was evidently scrupulous in distinguishing the traditional from the brand-new.

McIsaac's tune is easily recognizable as a version of "The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre."


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 10:57 AM

TY Lighter,

I don't know whether the Uist Tramping Song is in fact the standard Irish tune for "False Knight" as claimed. There's a version of the Uist Tramping Song by the Corries on youtube and it's called a traditional Scottish song (the copyright doesn't necessary reflect the age of the song). The Irish verse of "False Knight" which they claim was sung two hundred years ago in Ulster(1755), seems to be the same as, or taken from, the 1961 recording of Frank Quinn of County Tyrone (see text below). If anyone has any info on Quinn's song please post it.

Uist Tramping Song

Chorus:
Come along, come along,
Let us foot it out together,
Come along, come along,
Be it fair or stormy weather,
With the hills of home before us,
And the purple of the heather,
Let us sing in happy chorus,
Come along, come along.

O gaily sings the lark,
And the sky's all awake,
With the promise of the day,
For the road we gladly take;
So it's heel and toe and forward,
Bidding farewell to the town,
For the welcome that awaits us,
Ere the sun goes down.
Chorus:

It's the call of sea and shore,
It's the tang of bog and peat,
And the scent of brier and myrtle,
That puts magic in our feet;
So it's on we go rejoicing,
Over bracken, over stile,
And it's soon we will be tramping
Out the last long mile.
Chorus:

* * * *

The Knight on the Road- from the singing of Frank Quinn, County Tyrone, recorded in 1961.

“What brings you here so late?” said the Knight on the road:
“I go to meet my God,” said the Child as he stood,
And he stood and he stood and 'twere well he stood;
“I go to meet my God,” said the Child as he stood.

“How will you go by land? said the knight on the road.
"With a strong staff in my hand," said the child as he stood.
And he stood, and he stood, and 'twere well he stood.
"With a strong staff in my hand," said the child as he stood.

"How will you go by sea?" said the knight on the road.
"With a good ship under me,' said the child as he stood.
And he stood, and he stood, and 'twere well he stood,
"With a good ship under me," said the child as he stood.

“Methinks I hear a bell,” said the knight on the road.
“It's ringing you to hell,” said the child as he stood.
And he stood and he stood, and 'twere well that he stood.
“It's ringing you to hell,” said the child as he stood.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 10:12 AM

Hi,

The first excerpt is from the novel: "Women, Or, Pour Et Contre: A Tale," page 26 by Charles Robert Maturin - 1818. Set in the Dublin area by Maturin (1782-1824), an Irish clergyman and writer of gothic plays and novels who lived in Dublin, the two Irish stanzas predate the (assumed Scottish) version published by Motherwell(Child A) in 1827.

The version from Motherwell was sung by Mary MacQueen (Storie) b. 1803 in Kilbirnie (Aryshire) Scotland. Her father, Osbourne MacQueen, was from County Down, Ireland-- born about 1781 (Son of James and Janet (Stevens) McQueen). Could Mary's version be Irish from her father? Her mother was from Kilbirnie and Mary was born there so naturally she would sing in Scots dialect. Her version was given by Crawfurd to Motherwell and Motherwell made few changes to Mary's text (see Lyle's transcript below) which was published without attribution in his "Minstrelsy: ancient and modern" in 1827.

A number of versions from the US are directly taken from Irish sources. Barry prints the first Irish text in 1911:

THE FALSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD (Child, 3) Sung before 1870, in Fort Kent, Me., by a French girl who could speak very little English, as learned from an illiterate Irish family. From "The False Knight upon the Road," A, Folk-Songs of the North Atlantic States recollected by M. L. F., Portland, Me., Oct. 16, 1907.

    1. "What have you in your bottle, my dear little lad?"
         Quo the fol fol Fly on the road,
       "I have some milk for myself for to drink!"
         Said the child, who was seven years old.

In this text the words "fol fol Fly" are very likely corrupted from "foul, foul Fiend;" that is, the Devil. Fragmentary as it is, the text is interesting as attesting the survival, in America, of a ballad supposed to be long extinct, and, furthermore, as retaining a form of the theme more primitive than that of Motherwell's version
.

* * * *

Here is Mary MacQueen's version. Although an Irish source (her father) is speculation, it's possible:

Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs - Page 77 by E. B. Lyle- 1975 (his footnotes):

Motherwell does not credit Mrs Storie with the text of The Fause Knight upon the Road that he printed in his introduction but the Crawfurd MSS indicate that it was derived from her. The ten detached verses linked with the music were also, it seems, from Mrs Storie. As three of these are the same as full texts, this gives seven additional items from this singer. The fourteen items from Mrs Storie which were included by Motherwell in his Minstrelsy and Ballad Book were available to Child who printed all of them apart from The Deil's Wowing (41 The Deil's Courtship in the present collection) which fell outside his compass.

THE FAUSE KNICHT from Mary Macqueen (Mrs Storie) Crawfurd's Collection:

1 O whar are ye gaun quo[1] the fause knicht upon the road
I'm gawn to the skeul quo the wee boy and still he stood

2 What is that upon your back quo the fause knicht upon the rade
Atweel[2] it is my books quo the wee boy and still he stood

3 What's that ye hae gotten in your arm quo the fause knicht upon
Atweel it is my peat[3] quo the wee boy and still he stood the road

4 Wha's aught they sheep[4] quo the fause knicht upon the road
They are mine an my mother's quo the wee boy and still he stood

5 How money of them are mine quo the fause knicht upon the road
Aw them that hae blue tails quo the wee boy and still he stood

6 O I wish ye were on yon tree quo the fause knicht upon the road
And a guid ladder under me quo the wee boy and still he stood

7 And the ladder for to break quo the fause knicht upon the road
And you for to faw down quo the wee boy and still he stood

8 I wish ye were in yon sea quo the fause knicht upon the road
And a gude bottom[5] under me quo the wee boy and still he stood

9 And the bottom for to break quo the fause knicht upon the road
And you for to be drowned quo the wee boy and still he stood

1 quo said
2 atweel certainly, sure
3 peat piece of peat (for use on the schoolroom fire)
4 wha's aught they sheep "whose are these sheep"
8 bottom ship

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 09:44 AM

"The Uist Tramping Song" is copyright 1937 by Hugh S. Roberton & John S. Bannerman.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 10:46 PM

Hi,

Consider the first of the two Irish stanza sung by a Dublin madwoman in "Women, Or, Pour Et Contre: A Tale" - page 26 by Charles Robert Maturin - 1818:

The woman loitered some time after the rest, and with the inconsistency of madness, was singing a fragment of an Irish ballad evidently of monkish composition, and of which the air has all the monotonous melancholy of the chaunt of the cloister:—

“Oh, I wish you were along with me,
Said the false knight, as he rode;
And our Lord in company,
Said the child, and he stood.”

“Where's the next,” she muttered; “ay —gone far off, like all I remembered once —far off.”

“Oh, I wish you were in yonder well,
Said the false knight, as he rode;
And you in the pit of hell,
Said the child, and he stood.”

And her voice died away in indistinct mutterings.


    with this stanza from Ulster Folklife, 1955:

In fact, the traditions so overlap and intertwine that it's impossible to dogmatize about the origins of some songs either in words or in music. But here is a Scots Ballad which, although it must be over two hundred years in these parts, is still sung to the air of The Uist Tramping Song:

“What brings you here so late?” said the Knight on the road:
“I go to meet my God,” said the Child as he stood,
And he stood and he stood and 'twere well he stood;
“I go to meet my God,” said the Child as he stood.


Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 08:44 PM

Hi,

I'm working some on UK versions of Child 3 (didn't see any Carpenter versions of "False Knight") before I'm moving to Carpenter versions of Child 4. I'm wondering if Child 3 is Irish-- partly because of the 1818 Irish text and partly because the informant for Child A (Motherwell from Crawfurd) Mary MacQueen's father was Irish.

Any Irish texts or recordings? Origin of the recent Irish "False Fly" versions (Barry Gleeson)?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 10:34 AM

a version of "Go from My Window "

The English language version can be traced back to the 16th century, but it would be useful to see a translation of a 13th century variant. Of course the basic plot features in a number of songs and ballads, various types of 'Drowsy Sleeper' among others. Has the Spanish variant been published?


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 08:40 AM

O K I know it's a bit off topic but songs have travelled. I remember being out with a Client in Barcelona who as a Catalan Bag piper. We were discussing songs and he asked me what I was singing at the time . I mentioned and sang Cherry Tree Carol , Ah he said we have the same song in Catalan Tradition but the tree is an Almond
When the Opera House in Barcelona burnt down the had to re-bind many of the Books, they found a version of "Go from My Window " in Spanish of course in the Binding of a book from the Twelve Hundreds


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 12:38 AM

Thanks Carl and Steve,

I agree that "a" devil is not "the" Devil, in the other Perth vesions it's not "a" devil.
We're headed toward Lord Randall :)

I found two more with Devil in them; one from Perth and another from Newfoundland. Both are versions of Child A (by refrains). I don't have access to full text of the Newfoundland version so only one stanza is given:

"The Elf Knight." Sung by Alexander Reid ('Shells') of Pitlochry, Perthshire, collected by Linda Headlee on 14th September 1975; Tocher XX (1975) pp.140-1.

Go mak tae me a Highland shirt
Withoot a seam or needle a work,
And the dreary, dreary winds blaw my plaidie awa.

You'll wash it in a ne'er dry well
Where there ne'er was water nor one drop o dew fell;
You'll dry it on a thorn haw bush
Where there ne'er was thorns since Adam was born,
And the dreary, dreary wind blaw my plaidie awa.

O devil, o de'il, ye put a task on me
And it's surely I'll put one on you;
You will find to me three acre o land
Between the salt sea and the salt sea strand,
You will plough it up with a tup's horn - [spoken] a tup doesn't have a horn -
You will sow it over with one pea o corn,
And the dreary, dreary wind'll nae blaw my plaidie awa.

You will cut it down with a peahen feather,
You will stook it up with a tongue of an adder;
You will yoke two sparrows in a match-box*
And cart it home to our own farm yard,
And the dreary, dreary wind'll blaw my plaidie awa.

* * * *

The Cambric Shirt- sung by Charlotte Decker of Parson's Pond, Great Northern Penninsula, Newfoundland in August, 1966.

The devil came to her one night in bed,
Blow, blow, blow the wind blow,
And this is the very words he said,
The wind do blow my plaid awa.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: GUEST,Carl in VT
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 11:12 PM

Richie - (a bit off this thread) Saw a post of yours under "Dominique" from some years back saying "Lord Randall" is unk. in France, tho a version is found in the maritimes ("Le garcon empoissoné"). Try under "Honoré, mon Enfant", Trad., via Gabriel Yacoub, Green Linnet, SIF 3038, according to my notes. It's Honoré who cops it, not Lord Randall, but it's the same story.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 04:50 PM

Not at the speed you move, Richie!

Nit-picking perhaps, but the travellers refer to THE Devil in their description, but the version given here says A devil, i.e., a demon or an imp. The two sparrows in a matchbox perhaps a step along the development towards Acre of Land.

Brian, lacking a tune, I think the most common tune used for 'Acre of Land' is Brighton Camp.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 03:31 PM

Thanks Brian,

I'm sure you'll be doing a new CD of Carpenter Collection songs with Fisher's version on it!!

Child 2 has a lot of varied material. I've finished a rough draft of the British versions and the main headnotes of Child 2 here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/british-versions--other-versions--headnotes.aspx

I've waited for the Carpenter versions to finish the Child ballads. It's going to take a while :)

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 09:50 AM

Thanks, Richie. The sheer volume of that Carpenter stuff is all a bit overwhelming. Well done for getting to grips with it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 05:34 PM

Hi,

Here's a summary of the Carpenter versions of Child 2 (included are the Sing Ivy versions). The Carpenter master title is Elfin Knight and there are 16 versions, three of which are fragments, "King Ethelred & Cheeld-Vean" is recited and introduces other material.

    Cambric Shirt- Robert Nicol (Aber) 1869 Carpenter
    Cambric Shirt- Alex Stephens (Aber) c.1869 Carpenter
    Cameric Sark- Alex Brown (Aber) c.1870 Carpenter
    The Laird o' Elfin- Alex. Robb (Aber) c.1875 Greig/Carpenter
    Camerin Sark- Peter Chritie (Aber) c1880 Carpenter
    Every Rose Blooms- Mrs Gray (Mor) 1880 Carpenter
    True Love of Mine- Christina Roberston (Aber) 1880 Carpenter
    Elfin Knight- Bell Duncan (Aber) c.1930 Carpenter
    Cambric Shirt- John Ross (Aber) c.1930 Carpenter
    King Ethelred & Cheeld-Vean- Thomas (Corn) 1930 Carpenter
    Every rose grows- Morrison (Ross) 1931 Carpenter
    True Lover of Mine- McDonald (Ross) 1931 Carpenter

    Bunch of Green Holly and Ivy- Fisher (Berk) c.1880 Carpenter
    Green Holly & Ivy- E. Newitt (Oxf) 1930 Carpenter
    Sing Holly and Ivy- Jim Cox (Minch) 1930 Carpenter
    Green Holly An' Ivy- Belcher (Oxf) 1930 Carpenter

* * * *

Since Child 3 apparently has no Carpenter versions, Child 4 is next.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter & Child Ballads
From: Richie
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 03:37 PM

Hi,

Although the Child 2 is regarded by many as battle of wits between lovers, the Scottish versions of A is a competition between the Elfin Knight and the maid. At least in Perthshire among the Scottish travellers, it's clear that the Elfin Knight is the Devil. A 1956 recording made at The School of Scottish Studies of Bella Higgins and her brother Andrew Stewart (known as the Blairgowrie Stewarts from Perthshire) sums up their family version:

The Traveller meets the Devil, who gives him impossible tasks to do, but when the Traveller quotes the Bible, the Devil disappears in a ball of flame.

This is similar to some Scottish versions of Child 1 and Bella also knew a version of Child 3, a ballad where the Devil confronts a school boy. Unfortunately the stanzas of the archaic Stewart family version of The Elfin Knight could not fully be remembered (see: fragment Bella Higgins "Elfin Knight") and are now lost forever.

In 1955 a Perth version was collected by Collinson and Henderson from "Peasie" Martha Reid (Johnston) of Birnam, Perthshire:

"It's supposed to be him that's doun below (i.e. the Devil) that's giving this woman a task."

Peasie gave a version to Peter Shepheard and her husband Duncan Johnston also knew a few lines. This last example from Perth makes it clear who these Scottish travellers thought the Elphin Knight was:

The Devil and the Maid- As sung by Ronnie McDonald and his father John McDonald at Marshall's field, Alyth, Perthshire in August 1965. Recorded by Peter Shepheard, also Ewan MacColl.

There once was a fair maid went for a walk,
Blow, blow, blow ye wynds blow,
She met a devil on the way.
The weary winds'll blow ma plaidie awa

"Noo," he says tae her, "I will gie ye a task,
Blow, blow, blow ye wynds blow
Ye'll mak tae me a Holland sark,
Aye without either seam or needle work.
An the weary winds'll blow ma plaidie awa

'For ye'll wash it doun in yon draw well,
Where there never was water or a dew drop fell.'

'For ye'll dry it up with one blink o sun,
Blow, blow, blow ye wynds blow
If I do that task for you,
Surely you'll do one for me.
An the weary winds'll blow ma plaidie awa'

'For ye'll fetch to me three acres of land,
Aye atween the salt sea an the salt sea strand.'

'For you'll plough it up with a dooble ram's horn,
An ye'll harrow it ower wi a tree o blackthorn.'

'For ye'll sow it ower wi one pile o corn, [a pile = a grain
And ye'll ripe it up wi one blink o sun.' [ripe = ripen]

'For ye'll shear it down wi a peahen's feather,
And ye'll stook it up wi a stang o an ether.' [stang o an ether = tongue of an adder

'For ye'll yoke two sparrows in a matchbox,
And ye'll cart it home to your own farm yard.'

'For it's when you do that task for me,
Blow, blow, blow ye wynds blow
You come back an ye'll get your sark.'
The weary winds'll blow ma plaidie awa'.

* * * *

Richie


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Mudcat time: 19 June 3:56 PM EDT

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