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Searching for a Ballad

GUEST,Sadie Damascus 27 Jul 21 - 03:10 AM
Susan of DT 27 Jul 21 - 05:12 AM
Nigel Parsons 27 Jul 21 - 05:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 27 Jul 21 - 06:21 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Jul 21 - 02:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Jul 21 - 05:12 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Jul 21 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 27 Jul 21 - 06:32 PM
Bill D 27 Jul 21 - 07:21 PM
Lighter 28 Jul 21 - 07:36 AM
Chris Wright 28 Jul 21 - 11:50 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Jul 21 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 28 Jul 21 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 28 Jul 21 - 07:00 PM
Chris Wright 28 Jul 21 - 07:50 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jul 21 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 29 Jul 21 - 05:16 PM
Chris Wright 29 Jul 21 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 30 Jul 21 - 01:52 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Jul 21 - 03:16 PM
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Subject: Searching for a Ballad
From: GUEST,Sadie Damascus
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 03:10 AM

There is a Child Ballad in which a stepmother is pretty obviously preparing to poison her stepdaughter, so the girl hurries out to a church, where she is able to consult her dead mother and ask her mother what she should do. The mother advises her to submit, so they will soon be together. Does anyone recognize this ballad?


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Susan of DT
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 05:12 AM

Child #261 Lady Isabel


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 05:38 AM

Just to add the link, in DT: Here


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 06:21 AM

This might require an update of the DT.
Throughout the lyrics it is (as Susan says) about 'Lady Isabel'. The song title and file name give it as 'Lady Isobel'.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 02:30 PM

As Child himself would have told you had he been with us still, having only Peter Buchan as verifier would make it 99% certain it came from Peter's head (in Peterhead). Sorry, Sadie! Not a very good pedigree if you're looking for trad ballads.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 05:12 PM

Interesting - I didn't know about the verifier role you mention (Peter Buchan). A search on him brings a range of interesting articles to read.

The Case against Peter Buchan, Sigrid Rieuwerts (a book chapter via JSTOR)

If you can't read the JSTOR version, it looks like it was shared here ("Bluegrass Messengers") Scroll down to the second article for this paper. Or here it is a downloadable PDF.

Wikipedia on Peter Buchan

Papers of and relating to Peter Buchan (1790 - 1854), and his family from JISC Archives Hub (in the UK)

The high-kilted muse: Peter Buchan and his secret songs of silence by M. Shoolbraid at ResearchGate

Notes: ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education, it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users. . . . Overall, this is a Pro-Science source, however caution is needed as some Predatory Research may slip through the cracks. (D. Van Zandt 5/17/2018)


Peter Buchan, 1790 - 1854. Collector of Scottish ballads National Galleries of Scotland, W. and A.K. Johnston.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 05:57 PM

Even William Walker, Peter's greatest apologist and biographer had to admit that Peter 'eked out his ballads'. In many cases Child thought he did far more than eke them out.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 06:32 PM

I have a wee old book of songs and ballads that has Will Walker's signature of ownership. Love it - he has marked the songs he knew/sang (as I used to do in my contemporary songbooks   back in the '60s). He has also effected a repair to a couple of damaged pages, then carefully handwritten the words of the verses that had been lost. It is lovely to hold this small book in my hands, read the words, pick one of the songs to sing........


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Jul 21 - 07:21 PM

It seems #261-267 have no 'approved' recordings. There are a few folks who strive to put tunes to all of Child's listings, but it's mostly just a hobby.
   Perhaps Ruth Tongue was channeling Buchan when she 'collected' all those Chime Child songs from Somerset. ?
   There are some very interesting songs in her book. A friend of mine borrowed my copy and recorded maybe a dozen of them many years ago, but even then we didn't take seriously her claims.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 07:36 AM

Bob Coltman's original "Child" ballads (in the American idiom) are better than Buchan. They appeared nearly fifty years ago.

Does anyone sing them?

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=104920


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Chris Wright
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 11:50 AM

RE: Gallus Moll's book from William Walker library.

I have his personal copy of Traditional Ballad Airs by Dean Christie (2 vols) (1876-1881). What is the book you have, if you don't mind my asking?


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 05:38 PM

Yes, I'd certainly like to know what the book was that Walker had.

As for Christie I wouldn't be surprised if Walker contributed a lot of Peter's versions to TBA. Christie was obviously a big fan of PB's versions. Child's attitude to Christie was on a par with his attitude to PB.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 06:53 PM

Herds Collection of Scots Songs
1769 MDCCLXIX

The Ancient and Modern Scots Songs and Heroic Ballads
Edinburgh printed by
Martin and Wotherspoon

Not sure what Will Walker's era was? Perhaps it was an earlier owner that marked his favourite songs, repaired damaged pages - but to.my eye it seems like the same pen, the same hand that filled in the missing words?


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 07:00 PM

I found my book in a second hand bookshop in Stirling, about 20-something years ago. It is small, leather bound, not in pristibe condition but all songs are legible (including repaired pages - I think done by Will Walker?)
The book just stuck to my hands, and I just had to have it!


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Chris Wright
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 07:50 PM

Oh, that's right! I forgot we talked about it before. The 1769 single vol edition is very very rare and desireable. And to think it turned up in a bookseller for a relatively modest amount... A real dream discovery!


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jul 21 - 03:55 PM

Echo what Chris posted. A very lucky find. Aberdeen University Special Collections would be very interested.

Not quite the same league but in Edinburgh I picked up Chappell's personal copy of Vol 1 of his Popular Music of the Olden Time.

WW was 1840-1931. He helped Child a lot in the years before Child died, (1882-98) by arranging for Child to get hold of manuscript collections. He also helped Child with his glossary of Scottish words and topographical issues. Then when Greig came on the scene he influenced Greig's attitude to Buchan's ballads and sent items for inclusion in the collection (1914-1920), then after Greig died he influenced Keith to publish the Child ballads that Greig had collected (Last Leaves 1925). He also wrote the biography of PB.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 29 Jul 21 - 05:16 PM

Wish I knew whose book it was before Will Walker - how many were printed? (I used to love old textbooks at school, reading the names of former pupils who had them for the duration of their course!)
I used speak with Anne Neilson about what should happen to our personal collections of songbooks on our demise(s) - we wished there was a facility like The Wighton Centre in Dundee, perhaps - in an ideal world - TMSA could set up centres in various places that would have archives for our treasured books and recordings?!
Some of us have sets of Child, Greig Duncan, old books found in Oxfam,special.ones like my Herd......it would be good to know they were going to good homes or a resource centre ?


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Chris Wright
Date: 29 Jul 21 - 09:59 PM

Moll - you've no idea how often I lie awake at night thinking about exactly this issue! It's taken me 25 years (so far) of fairly intense collecting to amass what I think is a very fine collection of folk song/folkloristics/folklore books. I can't bear to think what will happen to the whole lot after I'm no longer around... Most places these days - university libraries, etc - don't have the capacity or resources to take them in. I'd probably have to arrange in advance to pass them on to a similarly minded person.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 01:52 PM

Hi Chris - I forgot as well that we spoke previously!! (Aging.....)
I guess rather than musing about what could or might be done, those of us with concerns for the future of our collection actually need to do something, or at least plan for possibilities. Cos I guess no-one else will......(and sadly our partners/relatives may not view our treasures with the same eyes.....)
So we really must plan ahead!
I don't think of my collection in terms of £££/value - some I bought, some I saved up for, some I discovered in charity shops. I treasure them for the songs and tunes I can find, for the people who gave them to me, for the. places I discovered them.
I know that nowadays most songs can be found and listened to online - but for me that is really not the same as holding a
book that was handled by Will Walker. Hamish Henderson or my friend Lynn.
- should we start up a group to manage peoples' collections? (albums, cassettes, cds as well?)even if only to ensure they go to a good home.......


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Ballad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 03:16 PM

This is a massive issue that crops up from time to time. Private collections being binned when someone passes on. With the majority of old books a lot of what they contain has been archived online so that doesn't worry me too much. For instance I have personal copies of the Pepys/Roxburghe/Euing bound collections but the whole lot are now digitised in multiple formats at UCSB EBBA along with 17th century NLS material. The Roxburghe is still very useful for the historic notes that are not at UCSB.

The same happens to recordings made in families, at folk clubs etc, old manuscripts in personal collections, street literature, although that tends to get auctioned off and then often goes to another private collection. Part of my collection is already earmarked to go to the VWML. They get plenty of offers for this type of material and any duplicates usually get sold and the money used to archive the unique/rarer material.

Regarding the Will Walker volume of Herd as I said Aberdeen Uni would be the best place as they have much of Will's manuscripts and collection.

The idea of passing things on to young folkies in the hopes they will make good use is what we did when Malcolm died. I got a lot of his copied materials and the odd original songster, but everything I already had (Bronson copies for instance) went to young performers in the area who have made good use of them.

When Nigel Hudleston died (Yorkshire Folk Song collector of the 50s and 60s) his heiress very kindly asked a number of us who had known Nigel to come and take what we wanted of the less saleable material and multiple copies of his book to sell for our organisation www.yorkshirefolksong.net . Most of his books and photos went for auction at Tennants where I successfully bid on a pristine set of Bronson which eventually ended up in Brian's safe hands. Later I came across four scrap albums of photos of traditional Yorkshire singers he recorded, in a bookshop in Lincoln, which I still have and which will eventually go to VWML.


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