Renaud, le tueur de femmes

Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight (Child ballad #4) defines a very specific theme of popular ballads, the Bluebeard of fairy tales. 
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight
 (Child ballad #4) 
è diventato il titolo con cui per convenzione si definisce un tema ben preciso delle ballate popolari, il tema del predatore, il Barbablù delle fiabe.

The French version of this ancient ballad that once described a magical ritual-sacrifice of the King (which was held in May / Spring on the occasion of the renewal of Nature), has become a murder ballad, disturbing for the veins of sadism evident in the knight, as a sexual predator. The ballad is a warning to all the virgin girls not to let themselves go to uncontrolled sexual urges, because instead of finding a good husband, you end up badly down the road.
La versione francese di questa antica ballata che un tempo descriveva un rituale magico-sacrificio del Re (che si teneva a Maggio/Primavera in occasione del rinnovamento della Natura), è diventata una murder ballad, inquietante per le venature di sadismo evidenti nel cavaliere-predatore sessuale. La ballata è un monito a tutte le vergini fanciulle di non lasciarsi andare alle pulsioni sessuali incontrollate perchè invece di trovare un buon marito si finisce malamente in mezzo a una strada.

The ballad is about eroticism, that is made evident by the invitation of the knight who promises great pleasure to the girl who will ride with him; eroticism also returns in the long description of the girl’s undressing when the moment in which she will be drowned approaches.
The story reminds me of Nick Cave’s ballad “Where The Wild Roses Grow“, this ballad enters the head of a serial killer: the woman is killed because she must be punished because of her wild sexuality.
Che la ballata tratti di erotismo è reso evidente dall’invito del cavaliere che promette un gran piacere alla fanciulla che andrà a cavalcare con lui; l’erotismo ritorna anche nella lunga descrizione della svestizione della fanciulla all’appressarsi del momento in cui verrà affogata.
La storia mi ricorda la ballata “Where The Wild Roses Grow” di Nick Cave in cui si entra nella testa di un serial killer: la donna viene uccisa perchè deve essere punita a causa della sua sessualità selvaggia.

Jean-Francois Dutertre in L’Epinette Des Vosges (Chant du Monde LDX 74536, 1974).

I
“Allons, la belle, nous promener (1),
En attendant le déjeuner.
Allons, la belle, allons-y donc:
‘Y a du plaisir nous promenant.”
II
Ils ne furent pas à mi-chemin:
“Renaud, Renaud, que j’ai grand faim!”
“Mangez, la belle, votre main,
Jamais ne mangerez de pain (2).”
III
Ils ne furent pas au bord du bois:
“Renaud, Renaud, que j’ai grand soif!”
“Buvez, la belle, votre sang,
Jamais ne boirez de vin blanc.”
IV
Et quand la belle fut promenée,
Elle demanda-t-à se loger.
“Tu logeras dans le vivier (3),
Ou j’ai sept femmes de noyées.”
V
Et quand ils furent au bord du vivier,
Lui dit de se déshabiller (4):
La belle ôta son blanc jupon
Pour aller voir la mer à fond (5).
VI
“C’est pas à toi, franc chevalier,
De voir ta mie déshabiller.
Mets ton épée dessous tes pieds
Et tourne-toi vers le vivier.”(6)
VII
Elle l’a pris, l’a embrassé (7),
elle l’a jeté dans la rivière (8) :
“Pêche, Renaud, pêche poisson;
Si tu y en prends, en mangerons!”
VIII
Quand le beau galant fut à l’eau,
Il se raccroche à une branche;
La belle tira son grand couteau,
Coupa la branche au ras des flots.
IX
“Voici les clefs de mon château;
La belle, je vous les donnerez.”
“Je m’soucie autant de tes clefs
Que je me soucie de toi.”
X
“La belle, qui vous ramenera
Vers le château de votre père?”
“Le cheval qui nous amena
Bien doucement m’y ramenera.”
XI
“Mais que diront tous vos parents
De vous voir revenir seulette?”
“Je leur dirai la vérité;
Que tu as voulu me noyer!”

NOTE
* from here
1) going to ride is evidently a euphemism for sex [andare a cavalcare è evidentemente un eufemismo per indicare il sesso]
2) contempt and cruelty are the basis of the knight’s sadism [disprezzo e crudeltà sono alla base del sadismo del cavaliere]
3) “le vivier” is a fish farm, a sort of pond or little llake, in other version, “claire rivière” (clear river) [le vivier è un vivaio per i pesci una sorta di stagno o laghetto, in altre versioni è scritto come “claire rivière” (fiume limpido)]
4) the stanzas of the striptease have been omitted [le strofe dello spogliarello sono state omesse]
5) as in other versions there is an incongruity, the pond is now the bottom of the sea [come già in altre versioni c’è un’incongruenza, prima si parlava di uno stagno che adesso è diventato il fondo del mare]
6) in other versions she asks the knight to blindfold himself for not looking at her while she undresses, the erotic game is even more provocative [in altre versioni la bella chiede al cavaliere di bendarsi gli occhi per non guardarla mentre lei si spoglia, il gioco erotico è ancora più provocatorio]
7) it is a hug to give a kiss, so as to distract the predator [si tratta di un abbraccio per dare un bacio, in modo da distrarre il predatore]
8) other inconsistency [altra incongruenza, ho preferito tradurre con corrente]
9) The branch is most central (tree of life) in other versions of the Eastern countries, (see Heer Halewijn) [il ramo è il ricordo sbiadito dell’albero della vita più  centrale in altre versioni nei paesi dell’Est, vedasi Heer Halewijn]

English translation *
“Let us go out riding (1), fair maid,
while we wait for the midday meal.  
Let us go, fair maid, let us go, then;
there is pleasure in going out riding.”
They were scarcely half way along the road: “Renaud, Renaud, I am very hungry! (2)”  
“Eat your own hand, fair maid:
you will never (again) eat bread.”
They were scarcely at the edge of the wood:  “Renaud, Renaud, I am very thirsty!”
“Drink your own blood, fair maid;
you will never (again) drink white wine.”
And when the fair maid had taken her ride, she asked to go home.
“Your home shall be in the pond (3),
where I have seven drowned wives.”
And when they were on the edge of the pond, he told her to undress.  (4)
The fair maid took off her white petticoat,
to go and see the bottom of the sea (5).
“It’s not for you, bold knight,
to see your sweetheart undress;
put your sword beneath your feet,
and turn towards the pond.”(6)
She has taken hold of him,
put her arms around him (7);
into the river (8) she has thrown him.  
“Go fishing, Renaud:
if you catch anything there, we will eat it!”
When the handsome young man was in the water,/ he catches hold of a branch (9).  
The fair maid pulled out his big knife
(and) cut off the branch,
level with the waves.
“Here are the keys to my castle;
I shall give them to you, fair maid.”  
“I care as much for your keys as I do for you.”
“Fair maid, who will take you back
to your father’s castle?”  
“The horse that brought us here
will take me back gently enough.”
“But what will your family say
when you return all alone?”  
“I shall tell them the truth:
that you tried to drown me!”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
“Andiamo a cavalcare, bella dama
mentre attendiamo per il pasto di mezzodì.
Andiamo, bella dama, andiamo dunque;
è divertente andare a cavalcare”
Avevano appena fatto mezza strada:
“Reginaldo, sono molto affamata!”
“Mangiatevi le mani, bella dama:
non mangerete mai più il pane”
Erano appena sui confini del bosco:
“Reginaldo, sono molto assetata!”
“Bevete il vostro sangue bella dama:
non berrete mai più del chiaretto”
E dopo che la bella dama galoppò
chiese di andare a casa.
“La tua casa sarà lo stagno,
in cui ho affogato sette mogli”
E quando furono sul bordo dello stagno
le disse di spogliarsi.
La bella dama si tolse il vestito bianco
per andare a vederne il fondo
“Non è da gentiluomini
guardare una dama svestita;
ponete la vostra spada ai vostri piedi
e voltatevi oltre lo stagno”
Lo afferrò
e gli mise le braccia al collo
e nella corrente lo gettò
“Andate a pescare Reginaldo
se prenderete qualcosa, lo mangeremo”
Quando il bel cavaliere fu in acqua
si aggrappò ad un ramo.
La fanciulla prese il suo grande coltello
e tagliò il ramo
al pelo dell’acqua.
“Ecco le chiavi del mio castello
le darò a voi, bella dama”
“M’importa delle vostre chiavi tanto quanto voi!”/”Bella dama, chi vi porterà indietro
al castello di vostro padre?”
“Il cavallo che ci ha portato qui
mi riporterà molto docilmente indietro”
“Ma cosa dirà la vostra famiglia
quando ritornerete tutta sola?”
“Dirò loro la verità:
che avete cercato di affogarmi!”

LINK
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18292
http://www.nspeak.com/allende/comenius/bamepec/multimedia/essay5.htm

The Outlandish Knight or Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight

The Ballad “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight” defines a very specific theme of the popular ballads, the Bluebeard of fairy tales. Some versions lose the magical aura of the oldest tradition to become murder ballads, so the “False Sir John” is a sadistic murderer, but a murderous thief who takes advantage of the naivety of young marriageable girls to take their dowry.
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight
 è diventato il titolo con cui per convenzione si definisce un tema ben preciso delle ballate popolari, il Barbablù delle fiabe. Alcune versioni perdono l’aura fiabesca-magica della tradizione più antica per diventare delle murder ballads, così il “False Sir John” (per niente cavaliere e nemmeno innamorato) non è tanto un omicida sadico, quanto un omicida ladro che si approfitta dell’ingenuità delle giovani ragazze da marito per prendersi la loro dote.

In this variant the false knight is a stranger who, with the promise of a marriage and a journey to some distant lands of the North, seduces his victim. Everything takes place as in the text already examined here, in front of the cliff and the prospect of being killed, the girl rebels and throws the man into the sea (in the lake or in the river).
In questa variante il cavaliere è uno straniero che con la promessa di un matrimonio e di un viaggio verso le lontane terre del Nord, seduce la sua vittima. Tutto si svolge come nel testo già esaminato qui, davanti alla scogliera e alla prospettiva di essere uccisa la fanciulla si ribella e getta l’uomo in mare (nel lago o nel fiume). 

Kate Rusby, live


I
An outlandish (1) knight came from the north (2) lands /He courted a lady fair
He said he would take her to those northern lands/ And there he would marry her
II
“Go fetch some of your fathers gold
And some of your mothers fee
And two of the horses from out of the stables Where there stands thirty and three”
III
She’s mounted on the lilly white steed
And he the dapple gray
They’ve rode til they come unto the sea side Three hours before it was day
IV
“Lights off Lights off, your lily white steed Deliver it unto me
Six pretty maidens have I drowned here
And the seventh will surely be thee
V
Take off take off
Your silken gowns
Deliver them unto me
For I do feel that they are too fine
To rot in the sun salt sea.”
VI
“If I take off my silken gowns
And turn your back on me
For it is not fitting that such a cruel world
A naked woman should see
VII
And cut away the brambles so sharp
The brambles from of the brim
For I do feel that they’ll tangle my hair
And scratch my tender skin”
VIII
So he’s turned his back all on the fair maid
And leant down over the brim
She’s taken him by his slander waist
And tumbled him into the stream
IX
“Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man,
Lie there instead of me,
For six pretty maidens have you drowned here The seventh hath drown-ed thee”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto 
I
Uno strano cavaliere venuto dal Nord
corteggiò una bella dama
Disse che l’avrebbe portata in quelle terre del Nord / E laggiù l’avrebbe sposata
II
“Vai a prendere un po’ d’oro di tuo padre
e una parte della dote di tua madre
e due cavalli della stalla
dove ce ne stanno 33″
III
Lei montò sul suo destriero bianco-giglio
e lui su un pezzato grigio
e cavalcarono fino a raggiungere la riva del mare/mancavano solo tre ore al farsi del giorno
IV
“Scendi, scendi dal tuo destriero bianco-giglio
consegnalo a me;
sei belle fanciulle ho affogato qui
e tu sarai sicuramente la settima.
V
Levati, levati
i tuoi vestiti di seta,
consegnali a me,
perchè credo che siano troppo preziosi
per marcire al sole nel mare salato”
VI
“Se mi leverò i vestiti d’argento
dammi le spalle
perchè non è lecito che in un mondo crudele
si debba vedere una donna nuda
VII 
E taglia i rovi appuntiti
i rovi lungo il bordo
perchè temo che si impiglieranno nei miei capelli e mi graffieranno la pelle delicata”
VIII
Così lui voltò le spalle alla fanciulla
e si sporse oltre il bordo
lei lo prese per la vita snella
e lo fece cadere nella corrente
IX
“Resta là, resta là giovanotto bugiardo
resta là al mio posto,
hai annegato qui sei belle fanciulle qui
e la settima ha annegato te”

NOTE
1) outlandish= foreign [ “un uomo di un paese straniero”] Knight= young man not a necessarily nobleman
2) in popular ballads the reference to the North more than a geographical reference indicates that something terrible / obscure is about to happen
nelle ballate popolari il riferimento al Nord più che un riferimento geografico indica che qualcosa di tremendo/oscuro sta per accadere

In this version we are again in a fairy-tale world with castles and realms, initially the knight is only a little “strange” and comes from the sea, only halfway to a ballad we discover that he is an elf knight who comes from the Other World (“From over the raging sea”)
In questa versione siamo di nuovo in un mondo fiabesco con castelli e reami, inizialmente il cavaliere è solo un po’ “strano” e viene dal mare, solo a metà ballata scopriamo che è un cavaliere elfo che preveniene da Altrove (“From over the raging sea“)

While the knight is drowning, he asks for help in exchange for marriage, but she is no longer deceived and refuses to give him her hand. As already stated for version B, it is very strange that a spirit of the water could drown!
Mentre affoga il cavaliere le chiede aiuto in cambio del matrimonio, ma lei non si lascia più ingannare e si rifiuta di dargli la mano. Come già espresso per la versione B è ben strano che uno spirito delle acque muoia annegato

Kadia – Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight in The Outlandish EP, 2017

Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston


I
There was a proper and tall young knight
And William was his name
He sailed across the raging sea
A’ courtingly he came
II
He took all of my father’s gold
And all my mother’s fee
He took two of my father’s horses
Best of thirty-three
[Chorus]
He promised we would ride the land
And he would marry me
Oh, you’re nothing but a false young knight
From over the raging sea
III
He rode on the milk-white steed
And she on the dappled grey
Together they made the North of Scotland
Hours before the day
IV
“Lie down, lie down -to her he said-
You never will be free
Six king’s daughters drowned here
The seventh one you shall be
V
She saw right through this tall young knight
He’d tricked her false love in
She saw the wrong intentions
That the bold knight had within
VI
He thought her just a fair young lass
With not the strength to win
Against this foolish Elfin knight
She hatched a plan for him
VII
So turn your back to the billowy waves
And your face to the old oak tree
You’re far too bad an outlandish knight
To view a stark lady”
VIII
So he turned his back to the billowy waves
And his face to the old oak tree
She threw her hands around his neck (2)
And tossed him into the sea
IX
Lie there, lie there, you false young man
Lie there in place of me
You’ve nothing fine nor costly
So you’ll rot far out to sea
X
And as he rose and as he sank,
And as he rose, said he,
“Oh, give me your hand (1), my pretty maid,
My bride forever you’ll be.
XI
“Lie there, lie there, you dirty dog
Lie there instead of me
You’re none too fine nor costly
So you’ll rot in the briney sea”
XII
She rode upon the milk white steed
And led the dappled grey
Returning to the castle
In the morning the next day
XIII
“Oh father, he had fase intentions
After courting me
Oh he’s nothing but a false young knight
From over the raging sea “
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto 
I
C’era un aitante cavaliere
di nome William
che attraversò il mare in tempesta
per venirmi a corteggiare
II
Prese tutto l’oro di mio padre
e la dote di mia madre
prese due dei cavalli di mio padre
i migliori dei 33″
Coro
Promise che avremmo galoppato per il paese
e che mi avrebbe sposato
ma non era altro che un falso giovane cavaliere
d’oltre mare
III
Lui cavalcava sul destriero bianco latte
e lei sul un pezzato grigio
insieme fecero il Nord della Scozia
mancavano quattro ore all’alba
IV
“Scendi, scendi -le disse-
non sarai mai libera
sei figlie di re ho affogato giù
e tu sarai la settima.
V
Lei si rese conto che quel giovane e alto cavaliere/ l’aveva ingannato con un falso amore
lei vide le brutte intenzioni
che il baldo cavaliere aveva dentro
VI
Lui credeva che lei fosse solo una ragazzina carina/ senza la forza per vincere
contro questo cavaliere elfo sciocco,
lei ordì un piano contro di lui
VII
“Gira le spalle ai marosi
e volgi il viso alla vecchia quercia
sei un cavaliere troppo cattivo e strano
per guardare una dama onesta”
VIII
Così lui girò le spalle ai marosi
e il viso rivolse alla vecchia quercia
e gli buttò le mani attorno al collo 
e lo gettò nel mare
IX
“Resta là, resta là giovanotto bugiardo
resta là al mio posto,
non hai niente di bello nè di prezioso
così marcirai in mare aperto”
X
E lui galleggiava e affondava
e quando fu in superficie disse
“Oh, dammi la tua mano, mia bella fanciulla
e diventerai per sempre la mia sposa”
XI
“Resta là, resta là, lurido cane
resta là al mio posto,
non hai niente di bello nè di prezioso
così marcirai in mare aperto”
XII
Lei cavalcò sul suo destriero bianco latte
e condusse il pezzato grigio
per ritornare al castello
al mattino del giorno dopo
XIII
“Oh padre aveva cattive intenzioni
dopo avermi corteggiata,
non era altro che un falso giovinastro
dall’oltre mare”

Note
1) the reference goes to the ballad Cruel Sister in which the drowning girl asks for help from her sister who had pushed her into the water out of jealousy
il riferimento corre alla ballata Cruel Sister in cui la fanciulla che sta annegando chiede aiuto alla sorella che l’aveva spinta in acqua per gelosia
2) there are some inconsistencies in the verses, one would expect that the girl pushes the knight into the water, rather than embrace him; in other versions it is the girl who is already in the water and still managing to touch the bottom that convinces the knight to kiss her and she pull him down from the horse (see version B) The line probably stands for a kiss.
ci sono delle incongruenze nei versi, ci si aspetterebbe che la fanciulla spinga il cavaliere in acqua, invece di abbracciarlo; in altre versioni invece è la fanciulla che già si trova in acqua riuscendo ancora a toccare il fondo che convince il cavaliere a darle un bacio e lo tira giù dal cavallo. (vedi versione B) Il verso sta per indicare un bacio

Pretty PollY

In some versions we also find the episode of the parrot, whose silence is bought with the promise of a golden cage
In alcune versioni ritroviamo anche l’episodio del pappagallo, il cui silenzio viene comprato con la promessa di una gabbietta d’oro

Danù in Think Before You Think 2005


I
He’s followed her up and he followed her down
And into the room where she lay
She hadn’t the strength for to flee from his arms/Nor the tongue for to answer him nay (1)
II
“Rise up, rise up, my pretty Polly
Rise up and go with me
And I will take you to North Scotland
And there you’ll married be
III
Go fetch you a bag of your father’s gold
And some of your mother’s fee
And two fine horses out of the stable
Where there stands thirty and three”
IV
So she’s lit upon her nimble-going brown
He’s mounted the dapple-gray
And when they came to North Scotland
‘Twas just three hours ‘til day
V
“Light you down, light you down,
my pretty Polly
Light you down, I say to thee
For six kings’ daughters have I drowned here
And the seventh will surely be thee
VI
And pull off, pull off your fine gay clothes
And hang them on yonder tree
For they are too fine and they cost too much
To rot in the salt lake sea”
VII
“Well, then you take a sickle
and you cut down the nettles
That grow so close to the brim
For I fear they’ll tangle my long yellow hair
And they’ll tear my lily-white skin”
VIII
So then he took a sickle
and he cut down the nettles
That grow so close to the brim
And she’s picked him up so skillfully
And she’s pushed the false knight in
IX
“Lie there, lie there, my false young man
Lie there in the room of me
For six kings’ daughters have you drowned here/And the seventh has drowned thee”
X
So she’s lit upon her nimble-going brown
And she’s lead the dapple-gray
And when she came to her father’s door
‘Twas just three hours ‘til day
XI
“Hush up, hush up, my pretty Polly bird (2)
And don’t you tell tales on me
Your cage will be made of the very beaten gold
And the door of the best ivory”
XII
But then up spoke a fine young man
In the chamber where he lay
“What’s the matter, what’s the matter
with my pretty Polly bird
You’re talking so long before day?”
XIII
“Oh There’s two black cats at my caging door
And my life they will betray
And I’m just calling for my pretty Polly
To drive those cats away”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto 
I
Lui la inseguì in lungo e in largo
fino nella camera da letto dove stava
e lei non ebbe la forza di respingerlo con le braccia/ nè la lingua per risponderli di no
II
“Alzati, mia bella Polly
alzati e vieni con me
e ti porterò nel Nord della Scozia
e là ci sposeremo”
III
“Vai a prendere una borsa con l’oro di tuo padre
e una parte della dote di tua madre
e due bei cavalli della stalla
dove ce ne stanno 33″
IV
Lei montò sul suo agile destriero morello
e lui su un pezzato grigio
e quando arrivarono nel Nord della Scozia
mancavano solo tre ore al farsi del giorno
V
“Scendi, scendi
mia bella Polly,
ti dico di scendere
che sei figlie di re ho gettato giù
e tu sarai la settima.
VI
Levati i tuoi bei vestiti colorati
e appendili all’albero
perchè sono troppo preziosi
per marcire nel lago salato”
VII
“Allora prendi un falcetto
e taglia le ortiche/che crescono così vicino alla riva/perchè temo che  s’impiglieranno nei miei lunghi capelli biondi
e mi sciuperanno la pelle bianco-giglio”
VIII
Così lui prese un falcetto
e tagliò le ortiche
che crescevano così vicino alla riva
e lei lo prese con agilità
e spinse dentro il falso cavaliere
IX
“Resta là, resta là, giovanotto bugiardo
resta là al mio posto,
hai annegato qui sei donne
e la settima ha annegato te”
X
Così è salita sull’agile destriero morello
e ha guidato il pezzato grigio
e quando è arrivata alla casa paterna
mancavano solo tre ore al farsi del giorno
XI
“Zitto, zitto mio pappagallino
e non raccontare storie su di me
la tua gabbia sarà fatta d’oro zecchino
con la porta del migliore avorio”
XII
Allora parlò un bel giovanotto
nella camera dove stava
“Che succede, che succede
al pappagallino Polly
che chiacchiera così tanto prima del giorno?””
XIII
“Oh ci sono due gatti neri alla porta della mia gabbia/che attentano alla mia vita
e io sto chiamando la mia bella Polly
perchè mandi via quei gatti”

NOTE
1) the sentence could be a euphemism to indicate a consensual sexual relationship; It is significant that the girl is held responsible for her wrong choice, that of relying on a stranger instead of letting the family choose the appropriate husband. While in the older versions the knight seduces the girl with magic (the horn, the harp) here it is a very normal assiduous courtship that breaks the heart and desire of the girl
la frase potrebbe essere un eufemismo per indicare un rapporto sessuale consensuale; è significativo che la ragazza sia ritenuta responsabile della sua scelta sbagliata, quella di affidarsi a uno sconosciuto invece di lasciare scegliere il marito appropriato dalla famiglia. Mentre nelle versioni più antiche il cavaliere seduce la fanciulla con mezzi magici (il corno, l’arpa) qui è un normalissimo assiduo corteggiamento che fa breccia nel cuore e desiderio della fanciulla
2) the little bird is a parrot with the same name as the girl: the identity between the two creatures who prefer to live in a golden cage instead of savoring the dangers of freedom is thus further reiterated
l’uccellino è un pappagallo con lo stesso nome della fanciulla: viene così ulteriormente ribadita l’identità tra le due creature che preferiscono vivere prigioniere in una gabbia dorata invece di assaporare i pericoli della libertà

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/theoutlandishknight.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22848

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18292
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/77.html
http://www.broadside.org/music/lyrics/false.html
http://mbmonday.blogspot.it/2013/02/a-cage-of-beaten-gold-false-sir-john.html

http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/RmOlSngs/RTOS-LadyIsabel.html

“The two sisters” ballad: Binnorie

Leggi in italiano

The murder ballad “The two sisters” originates from Sweden or more generally from the Scandinavian countries (see “De två systrarna), but has spread widely also in some Eastern countries and in the British Isles

The variants in which it is present are many as well as the titles: The Twa Sisters, The Cruel Sister, The Bonnie Milldams of Binnorie, The Bonny Bows o’ London, Binnorie and Sister, Binnorie, Minnorie, Dear Sister, The Jealous Sister (Minorie), Bonnie Broom, Swan Swims Sae Bonny O, The Bonny Swans, Bow Your Bend to Me.

IL TRIANGOLO AMOROSO

It tells the story of a love triangle with two sisters who contend for the attentions of a handsome young man, once his choice falls on the blonde one, the other (by chance with black hair) to have him all for herself, she kills her sister, pushing her down a cliff (or from the bank of a river).

20121002205259a31
John Faed: Cruel Sister

A dear theme to many pre-Raphaelite painters and more generally a recurring theme in 19th century painters (thanks to Sir Walter Scott’s good offices); in the painting of the Scot John Faed (1851) entitled “Cruel Sister” it is summarized the whole drama of jealousy at the center of history (read motive); a prince with an exotic charm (what a feathered hat!) holds a blond girl dressed in white satin by the hand, not only does the prince look at her and tenderly shakes her hand, but also points to a little dog in the foreground, to say, “here I am faithful”. What a grace and sweetness is suffused in the girl who, with modesty, turns her gaze to the ground, but her cheeks are colorated, a sign of a profound emotion that disturbs her. The other girl is slightly backward compared to the two lovers and , afflicted by dark thoughts, she looks at the prince; even if she grasps to his arm she is clearly the third wheel. (note that while the two lovers move with the same step the black lady moves in forward the left foot).

To understand the whole story, here is a Scottish fairy tale called “The Singing Breastbone” (from Fair is Fair: World Folktales of Justice of Sharon Creeden see) that already in the title announces a “gothic” story.

 

 The Singing Breastbone (Binnorie)

ONCE upon a time there were two king’s daughters who lived in a bower near the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie. And Sir William came wooing the elder and won her love, and plighted troth with glove and with ring. But after a time he looked upon the younger sister, with her cherry cheeks and golden hair, and his love went out to her till he cared no longer for the elder one. So she hated her sister for taking away Sir William’s love, and day by day her hate grew and grew and she plotted add she planned how to get rid of her.

Katharine Cameron (scot, 1874–1965): She has taken her by the lily white hand binnorie o binnorie

So one fine morning, fair and clear, she said to her sister, ‘Let us go and see our father’s boats come in at the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie.’ So they went there hand in hand. And when they came to the river’s bank, the younger one got upon a stone to watch for the beaching of the boats. And her sister, coming behind her, caught her round the waist and dashed her into the rushing mill-stream of Binnorie.
‘O sister, sister, reach me your hand !’ she cried, as she floated away, ‘and you shall have half of all I’ve got or shall get.’
‘No, sister, I’ll reach you no hand of mine, for I am the heir to all your land. Shame on me if I touch her hand that has come ‘twixt me and my own heart’s love.’
‘O sister, O sister, then reach me your glove !’ she cried, as she floated further away, ‘and you shall have your William again.’
Sink on,’ cried the cruel princess, ‘no hand or glove of mine you’ll touch. Sweet William will be all mine when you are sunk beneath the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie.’ And she turned and went home to the king’s castle.
And the princess floated down the mill-stream, sometimes swimming and sometimes sinking, till she came near the mill. Now, the miller’s daughter was cooking that day, and needed water for her cooking. And as she went to draw it from the stream, she saw something floating towards the mill-dam, and she called out, ‘Father ! father ! draw your dam. There’s something white–a merrymaid or a milk-white swan–coming down the stream.’ So the miller hastened to the dam and stopped the heavy, cruel mill-wheels. And then they took out the princess and laid her on the bank.
Fair and beautiful she looked as she lay there. In her golden hair were pearls and precious stones; you could not see her waist for her golden girdle, and the golden fringe of her white dress came down over her lily feet. But she was drowned, drowned !

And as she lay there in her beauty a famous harper passed by the mill-dam of Binnorie, and saw her sweet pale face. And though he travelled on far away, he never forgot that face, and after many days he came back to the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie. But then all he could find of her where they had put her to rest were her bones and her golden hair. So he made a harp out of her breast-bone and her hair, and travelled on up the hill from the mill-dam of Binnorie till he came to the castle of the king her father.
binnorie_2_by_tanmorna-d5fxw2h

That night they were all gathered in the castle hall to hear the great harper–king and queen, their daughter and son, Sir William, and all their Court. And first the harper sang to his old harp, making them joy and be glad, or sorrow and weep, just as he liked. But while he sang, he put the harp he had made that day on a stone in the hall. And presently it began to sing by itself, low and clear, and the harper stopped and all were hushed.
And this is what the harp sung:
‘O yonder sits my father, the king,
Binnorie, O Binnorie;
And yonder sits my mother, the queen;
By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie.

‘And yonder stands my brother Hugh,
Binnorie, O Binnone;
And by him my William, false and true;
By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie.’

Then they all wondered, and the harper told them how he had seen the princess lying drowned on the bank near the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie, and how he had afterwards made his harp out of her hair and breast-bone. Just then the harp began singing again, and this is what it sang out loud and clear:
‘And there sits my sister who drowned me
By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie.’

And the harp snapped and broke, and never sang more.

Giordano Dall’Armellina writes in his essay: “Summing up the English and the Scandinavian versions a hundred texts have been calculated: it is as if every singer had fun inventing something different to distinguish himself from the others. In some Norwegian variants the harp crash into many pieces and the blond princess returns to life while her black-haired sister is either burned alive or buried alive as a punishment for the crime committed.
In another, always Norwegian, the bones of the girl are used to make a flute that is brought to her family to make it play by everyone. When the cruel sister plays it, the blood gushes from it, thus denouncing her guilt. It follows a punishment: the sister is condemned to be tied to four horses that leave in four distinct directions and that will cut her to pieces. In a Swedish version the miller saves the girl and brings her back to her family. In the end the blond princess will forgive her sister for the attempted murder” (translated from Giordano  Dell’Armellina: “Ballate Europee da Boccaccio a Bob Dylan”.)

As usual, the fairy tale lends itself to multiple readings outside the text, symbolism focuses on the meaning of the bones, the swan and the water element (see) and yet in the American version the ballad becomes a more typical murder ballad

FIRST VERSION: BINNORIE

In Scotland the ballad was printed in 1656 under the title “The Miller and the King’s Daughter” (see) and then ended in the Child Ballads, (# 10), in his “The English and Scottish Popular Ballads”: the versions in Child are about twenty to underline the wide popularity and diffusion of the story (and also for the melodies there are many versions).

The version analyzed, however is that of Sir Walter Scott (in “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border” 1802 see ) who with his books helped to reawaken the interest of contemporaries towards Medievalism.
The text is rich in Scottish terms, the plot is very similar to the fairy tale “The Singing Breastbone” of which the ballad seems to be the sung version, the tragic epilogue is tinged with magic with the bones of the girl become musical instrument to unmask the killer.

Custer LaRue&Baltimore Consort in The Daemon Lover, 1993 a medieval version


There were twa sisters sat in a bow’r(1)
Binnorie, O Binnorie (2)
There cam a knight to be their wooer.

By the bonnie mill-dams of Binnorie .
He courted the eldest wi’ glove and ring (3)/But he lo’ed the youngest aboon a’thing.
The eldest she was vexed sair
And sore envied her sister fair.
The eldest said to the youngest ane:
“Will you go and see our father’s ships come in”
She’s ta’en her by the lily hand
And led her down to the river strand.
The youngest stude upon a stane
The eldest cam’ and pushed her in.
“Oh sister, sister reach your hand
And ye shall be heir of half my land”
“Oh sister, I’ll not reach my hand
And I’ll be heir of all your land.”
“Oh sister, reach me but your glove
And sweet William shall be your love.”
“Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove
And sweet William shall better be my love.”
Sometimes she sunk, sometimes she swam
Until she cam to the miller’s dam.
The miller’s daughter was baking bread
And gaed for water as she had need.
“O father, father, draw your dam!
There’s either a mermaid or a milk-white swan (4).”
The miller hasted and drew his dam
And there he found a drown’d woman.
Ye couldna see her yellow hair
For gowd and pearls that were sae rare.
Ye coldna see her middle sma’
Her gowden girdle was sae braw.
Ye couldna see her lily feet
Her gowden fringes were sae deep.
A famous harper passing by
The sweet pale face he chanced to spy.
And when he looked that lady on
He sighed, and made a heavy moan.
He made a harp (5) o’ her breast bone
Whose sounds would melt a heart of stone.
The strings he framed of her yellow hair,/Their notes made sad the listening ear.
He brought it to her father’s ha’
There was the court assembled there.
He layed the harp upon a stane (6)
And straight it began to play alane.
“O yonder sits my father the King
And yonder sits my mother, the queen.”
“And yonder stands my brother Hugh
And by him, my William, sweet and true.”
But the last tune that the harp played then
Was: “Woe to my sister, false Helen”
NOTE
1) in the Middle Ages, bower indicated the private room of the lady of the castle, not exactly the bedroom when the room in which she stayed with her maidservants.
2) Scott replaces the refrain “Edinburgh, Edinburgh” inspired by the battle of Binnorie (to commemorate the Scottish wars of independence)
3) Giving the ring and the glove in medieval times was a promise of marriage. To be courted was the older sister, it was a matter of a arranged marriage. in which however the young falls in love with the younger sister
4)  The comparison emphasizes the purity and innocence of the girl who is presumed not to have encouraged the advances of the suitor.
5)  a magical harp, in fact, as soon as it is placed on a stone, it begins to sing alone. Here we refer to the Viking belief that the soul resides in the bones (the bones of the dead accuse their murderers). The killer sister who was about to marry, is unmasked by her sister’s ghost and will surely be punished as she deserves.
It is reasonable to assume that in the Scandinavian versions the instrument was in reality an arched crwth or lyra: also called “Germanic crwth” – to underline its northern origin – the instrument can also be equipped with a central keyboard and you play with the bow being probably the ancestor of the violin. In Wales it is called crwth (while in Ireland it is called cruith) and the central keyboard bears six strings, two of which the drone strings (“loafer string”). This instrument, which scholars are uncertain if they consider it to be completely indigenous and attributed to the Scandinavian area, (see)
6) referring to the ability of the harp to soften a heart of stone (black heart) so its magic song begins only when they placed it on a stone

Dorothy Carter with hammer dulcimer

LINK
Giordano  Dell’Armellina in “Racconti comuni in ballate italiane, svedesi e  britanniche: un confronto” see
Giordano  Dell’Armellina: “Ballate Europee da Boccaccio a Bob Dylan”.
http://members.chello.nl/r.vandijk2/ChildBallads010-019.html
http://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=49269&lang=it
http://walterscott.eu/education/ballads/supernatural-ballads/the-cruel-sister/

Standing Stones by Loreena McKennitt

Una murder ballad composta da Loreena McKennitt seguendo i canoni della ballata tradizionale, per narrare una tragica storia d’amore finita nel sangue a causa della gelosia.
[A murder ballad composed by Loreena McKennitt following the canons of the traditional ballad, to tell a tragic love story ended in blood because of jealousy.]
Il geloso questa volta non è all’interno della coppia, ma è un promesso sposo respinto dalla ragazza, ci troviamo forse davanti ad un matrimonio combinato dalle famiglie mentre i due veri amanti si sposano in segreto con il rito dell’handfasting, scambiandosi le promesse in un luogo sacro, il cerchio di pietre degli Antenati.
[The jealous one this time is not within the couple, but he is a pretendent rejected by the girl; we are perhaps in front of a marriage combined by families while the two true lovers get married in secret with the handfasting, exchanging their votes in a sacred place, the circle of stones of the Ancestors.]

La storia è ambientata nelle isole Orcadi (Scozia) che custodiscono un grande santuario megalitico risalente al Neolitico, uno dei siti più antichi delle Isole Britanniche.
[The story is set in the Orkney Islands (Scotland) which house a large megalithic sanctuary dating back to the Neolithic, one of the oldest sites in the British Isles.]

Jim Richardson: Stones of Stenness (foto tratta da qui)

Loreena McKennitt in “Parallel Dreams”


I
In one of these lonely Orkney Isles
There dwelled a maiden fair.
Her cheeks were red, her eyes were blue/She had yellow, curling hair.
Which caught the eye and then the heart
Of one who could never be
A lover of so true a mind
Or fair a form as she.
II
Across the lake in Sandwick(1)
Dwelled a youth she held most true,
And ever since her infancy
He had watched these eyes so blue.
The land runs out to the sea
It’s a narrow neck of land
Where weird and grim the Standing Stones/ In a circle where they stand (2).
III
One bonny moonlight Christmas Eve
They met at that sad place.
With her heart in glee and the beams of love
Were shining on her face
When her lover came and he grasped her hand
And what loving words they said
They talked of future’s happy days,
As through the stones they strayed.
IV
They walked toward the lovers’ stone
And through it passed their hands.
They plighted there a constant troth
Sealed by love’s steadfast bands
He kissed his maid and then he watched her
That lonely bridge go o’er.
For little, little did he think
He wouldn’t see his darling more.
bridge
Standing Stones of the Orkney Isles
Gazing out to sea
Standing Stones of the Orkney Isles
Bring my love to me.
V
He turned his face toward his home
That home he did never see
And you shall have the story
As it was told to me.
When a form upon him sprang
With a dagger gleaming bright
It pierced his heart and his dying screams
Disturbed the silent night.
VI
This maid had nearly reached her home
When she was startled by a cry.
And she turned to look around her
And her love was standing by
His hand was pointing to the stars
And his eyes gazed at the light.
And with a smiling countenance
He vanished from her sight.
VII
She quickly turned and home she ran
Not a word of this was said,
For well she knew at seeing his form
That her faithful love was dead.
And from that day she pined away,
Not a smile seen on her face,
And with outstretched arms she went to meet him
In a brighter place.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
In una delle solitarie isole Orcadi
viveva una dama bella-
aveva guance di rosa e occhi azzurri,
aveva capelli biondi e fluenti
che catturarono prima lo sguardo e poi il cuore
di uno che non sarebbe mai stato degno di un’anima così sincera o leale come la sua.
II
Oltre il lago a Sandwick viveva un giovane a cui lei teneva davvero e fin dalla sua infanzia, lui aveva ammirato quegli occhi così azzurri.
La terra si esaurisce nel mare,
in uno stretto lembo di terra
dove strani e  sinistri i Menhir
stanno in cerchio.
III
In una bella vigilia di Natale al chiaro di luna s’incontrarono in quel posto triste
lei con il cuore contento
e i tremiti d’amore
che le brillavano sul viso;
poi il suo innamorato giunse e la prese per mano,
tante  parole d’amore si dissero,
parlarono dei loro futuri giorni felici
mentre tra le pietre passeggiavano.
IV
Camminarono fino  alla pietra degli amanti
e attraverso ad essa passarono le mani e stipularono là un patto di fedeltà sigillato dal laccio d’amore.
Lui baciò la sposa e poi la guardò
andare oltre quel ponte solitario,
per un solo istante pensò che non avrebbe più rivisto il suo amore!
bridge
Menhir delle isole Orcadi
che contemplate il mare
Menhir delle isole Orcadi
riportate il mio amore da me
V
Lui diresse lo sguardo verso casa
quella casa che non aveva mai visto
e voi dovreste conoscere la storia
come mi fu narrata.
Ecco una sagoma su di lui si gettò
con uno stiletto scintillante
gli trafisse il cuore e i suoi gemiti da moribondo
turbarono la notte silenziosa.
VI
La fanciulla aveva quasi raggiunto casa
quando fu scossa da un grido
e si guardò intorno
e il suo amore stava dritto in piedi
con la mano puntava alle stelle
e gli occhi fissavano la luce,
poi con una espressione sorridente
svanì alla sua vista.
VII
Veloce si voltò e corse verso casa
non disse una parola di ciò,
perchè bene sapeva da quello che aveva visto che il suo amore fedele era morto.
E da quel giorno lei languiva,
non un sorriso si vedeva sul suo viso,
e a braccia aperte andò a incontrarlo in un posto più luminoso

NOTE
1) Sandwick (dal norreno con significato Sandy Bay) è un villaggio sulla costa ovest della Mainland l’isola principale delle Orcadi
[Sandwick (from Old Norse with meaning Sandy Bay) is a village on the west coast of Mainland, the main island of Orkney]
2) si tratta delle Pietre erette di Stenness (Stones of Stenness) accanto al lago omonimo. Una pietra, conosciuta come la “Pietra di Odino”, aveva un buco circolare che veniva usato dalle coppie locali per scambiarsi le promesse. Si svolgevano attorno alla pietra anche altre cerimonie curative. La pietra fu distrutta da un contadino del luogo nel 1814 stanco dei turisti e dei rituali che si svolgevano intorno ai menhir  vicini ai suoi campi. Della pietra con il foro ci restano solo dei disegni. Il sito di Stennes presenta delle pietro molto alte (5 metri) ma il cerchio più grande anche se meno imponente si trova poco distante detto Cerchio di Brodgar (Ring of Brodgar)
[it is the Standing Stones of Stenness next to the lake of the same name. A stone, known as the “Odin Stone”, had a circular hole that was used by local couples to exchange promises. Other healing ceremonies took place around the stone. The stone was destroyed by a local peasant in 1814 tired of tourists and rituals that took place around the menhirs near his fields. Only the drawings remain of the stone with the hole. The site of Stennes has very high stones (5 meters) but the largest circle, although less impressive, is located not far from the Ring of Brodgar]

LINK
http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/brodgar/

John Barleycorn must die!

Leggi in italiano

John Barleycorn (in Italian Giovanni Chicco d’Orzo) is a traditional song spread in England and Scotland, focused on this popular character, embodiment of the spirit of beer and whiskey. (see)
There are several text versions collected at different times; the oldest known is from 1460.
As often happens with the most popular ballads we talk about family in reference to a set of texts and melodies connected to each other or related.

The plot traced by Pete Wood is well documented and we refer you to his John Barleycorn revisited for the deepening: the first ballad that identifies a man as the spirit of barley is Allan-a-Maut (Allan del Malto) and it comes from Scotland .
The first ballad that bears the name John Barleycorn is instead of 1624, printed in London “A Pleasant new Ballad.To be sung evening and morn, of the bloody murder of Sir John Barleycorn” shortened in The Pleasant Ballad: as Pete Wood points out, all the elements that characterize the current version of the ballad are already present, the oath of the knights to kill John, the rain that quenches him, and the sun that warms him to give him energy, the miller who grinds him between two stones.

Originale screenprint by Paul Bommer (da qui)

THE DEATH-REBIRTH OF KING BARLEY

spirito-granoIt is narrated the death of the King of Barley according to myths and beliefs that date back to the beginning of the peasant culture, customs that were followed in England in these forms until the early decades of the ‘900.
According to James George Frazier in “The Golden Bough“, anciently “John” was chosen among the youth of the tribe and treated like a king for a year; at the appointed time, however, he was killed, following a macabre ritual: his body was dragged across the fields so that the blood soaked the earth and fed the barley.

More recently in the Celtic peasant tradition the spirit of the wheat entered the reaper who cut the last sheaf (who symbolically killed the god) and he had to be sacrificed just as described in the song (or at least figuratively and symbolically). see more

However, the spirit of the Wheat-Barley never dies because it is reborn the following year with the new crop, its strength and its ardor are contained in the whiskey that is obtained from the distillation of barley malt!

JOHN BARLEYCORN

“The Pleasant ballad” was set to the tune “Shall I Lie Beyond Thee?” on the broadside.63  This tune is quoted by a number of sources by a variety of very similar titles, including “Lie Lulling Beyond Thee” .  It is this writer’s belief from a variety of considerations, including Simpson 64 that these are one and the same tune.  There has been some confusion regarding the use of the tune “Stingo” for various members of the family.  Several publications say that John Barleycorn should be sung to this tune, (including Dixon), and some people have assumed this was the tune for “The Pleasant Ballad.”  These impressions seem to have originated from Chappell 65, who meant that “Stingo” was the tune for another member of the family “The Little Barleycorne”, a view which accords with his own comments on the version in the Roxburghe Ballads 66, with Simpson, and Baring-Gould who says ‘[Stingo] is not the air used in the broadsides nor in the west of England’ 67.  Two further tunes, “The Friar & the Nun” and “Twas when the seas were roaring”, are mentioned by Simpson.  Mas Mault has been suggested to be set to the tune “Triumph and Joy”, the original title of “Greensleeves”. 68 (Pete Wood)

In fact, as many as 45 different melodies have been used for centuries for this ballad, and Pete Wood analyzes the four most common melodies.

 MELODY 1

The 1906 version of John Stafford published by Sharp in English Folk Songs is probably the melody that comes closest to the time of James I
The Young Tradition

MELODY DIVES AND LAZARUS

The Shepherd Haden version became “standard” for being included in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.T

Traffic (Learned by Mike Waterson)

Traffic lyrics
I
There was three men come out of the West
Their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn(1) must die.
II
They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in
Throwing clods all on his head
And these three men made a solemn vow
John barleycorn was Dead.
III
They’ve left him in the ground for a very long time
Till the rains from heaven did fall
Then little Sir John’s sprung up his head
And so amazed them all
IV
They’ve left him in the ground till the Midsummer
Till he’s grown both pale and wan
Then little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard
And so become a man.
V
They hire’d men with their scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee.
They’ve bound him and tied him around the waist
Serving him most barb’rously
VI
They hire’d men with their sharp pitch-forks
To prick him to the heart
But the drover he served him worse than that
For he’s bound him to the cart.
VII
They’ve rolled him around and around the field
Till they came unto a barn
And there they made a solemn mow
Of Little Sir John Barleycorn
VIII
They’ve hire’d men with their crab-tree sticks
To strip him skin from bone
But the miller, he served him worse than that,
For he’s ground him between two stones.
IX
Here’s Little sir John in the nut-brown bowl(2)
And brandy in the glass
But Little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl’s
Proved the stronger man at last
X
For the hunts man he can’t hunt the fox
Nor so loudly blow his horn
And the tinker, he can’t mend Kettles or pots
Without a little of Sir John Barleycorn.
NOTES
1)  the spirit of beer and whiskey
2) The cask of walnut or oak used today to age the whiskey

Jetro Tull live


Damh The Bard from The Hills They Are Hollow

JOHN BARLEYCORN, MELODY 3

The version of Robert Pope taken by Vaughan Williams in his Folk Song Suite
version for choir and orchestra

JOHN BARLEYCORN, MELODY 4

from Shropshire
Fred Jordan live

Jean-François Millet - Buckwheat Harvest Summer 1868
Jean-François Millet – Buckwheat Harvest Summer 1868

JOHN BARLEYCORN BY ROBERT BURNS

The version published by Robert Burns in 1782, reworks the ancient folk song and becomes the basis of subsequent versions

The first 3 stanzas are similar to the standard version, apart from the three kings coming from the east to make the solemn oath to kill John Barleycorn, in fact in the English version the three men arrive from the West: to me personally the hypothesis that Burnes he wanted to point out the 3 Magi Kings … it does not seem pertinent to the deep pagan substratum of history: Christianity (or the cult of the God of Light) doesnt want to kill the King of the Wheat, unless you identify the king of the Grain with the Christ (a “blasphemous” comparison that was immediately removed from subsequent versions).

History is the detailed transformation of the grain spirit, grown strong and healthy during the summer, reaped and threshed as soon as autumn arrives, and turned into alcohol; and the much more detailed description (always compared to the standard version) of the pleasures that it provides to men, so that they can draw from the drink, intoxication and inspiration. Burns was notoriously a great connoisseur of whiskey and the last verse is right in his style!

The indicated melody is Lull [e] Me Beyond Thee; other melodies that fit the lyrics are “Stingo” (John Playford, 1650) and “Up in the Morning Early”
The version of the Tickawinda takes up part of the text by singing the stanzas I, II, III, V, VII, XV

Robert Burns
I
There was three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.
II
They took a  plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead
III
But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all
IV
The sultry suns  of Summer came,
And he grew  thick and strong,
His head weel   arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one  should him wrong.
V
The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show’d he began to fail.
VI
His coulour sicken’d more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.
VII
They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then ty’d him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie(1).
VIII
They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell’d him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn’d him o’er and o’er.
IX
They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim,
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim
X
They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him farther woe,
And still, as signs of life appear’d,
They toss’d him to and fro.
XI
They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a Miller us’d him worst of all,
For he crush’d him between two stones.
XII
And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.
XIII
John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise,
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.
XIV
‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy:
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.
XV
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!
NOTES
1) the condemned to death were transported to the place of the gallows on a cart for the public mockery

Steeleye Span from Below the Salt 1972


I (Spoken)
There were three men
Came from the west
Their fortunes for to tell,
And the life of John Barleycorn as well.
II
They laid him in three furrows deep,
Laid clods upon his head,
Then these three man made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead.
III
The let him die for a very long time
Till the rain from heaven did fall,
Then little Sir John sprang up his head
And he did amaze them all.
IV
They let him stand till the midsummer day,
Till he looked both pale and wan.
The little Sir John he grew a long beard
And so became a man.
CHORUS:
Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day
Fa la la la lay o
Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day
Sing fa la la la lay
V
They have hired men with the scythes so sharp,
To cut him off at the knee,
The rolled him and they tied him around the waist,
They served him barbarously.
VI
They have hired men with the crab-tree sticks,
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller has served him worse than that,
For he’s ground him between two stones.
VII
They’ve wheeled him here,
they’ve wheeled him there,
They’ve wheeled him to a barn,
And thy have served him worse than that,
They’ve bunged him in a vat.
VIII
They have worked their will on John Barleycorn
But he lived to tell the tale,
For they pour him out of an old brown jug
And they call him home brewed ale(1).
NOTES
1) The oldest drink in the world obtained from the fermentation of various cereals. The beer originally was classified out as “beer” (with hops) and “ale” (without hops) . Its processing processes start with a spontaneous fermentation of the starch (ie the sugar) that is the main component in cereals, when they come into contact with water, due to wild yeasts contained in the air. And just as in bread, female food, EARTH, WATER, AIR and FIRE combine magically to give life to a divine food that strengthens and inebriates.
The English term of homebrewing or the art of home-made beer translates into Italian with an abstruse word: domozimurgia and domozimurgo is the producer of homemade beer in which domo, is the Latin root for “home”; zimurgo is the one who practices “zimurgy”, or the science of fermentation processes. The domozimurgo is therefore the one who, within his own home, studies, applies and experiments the alchemy of fermentation. Making beer for your own consumption (including that of the inevitable friends and relatives) is absolutely legal as well as fun and relatively simple although you never stop learning through the exchange of experiences and experimentati
on
see more

And finally the COLLAGE of the versions of Tickawinda, Avalon Rising, John Renbourn, Lanterna Lucis Viriditatis, Xenis Emputae, Travelling Band, Louis Killen, Traffic

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/barleycorn.htm
http://www.musicaememoria.com/JohnBarleycorn2.htm
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/j_barley.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=14888
http://www.omniscrit.com/2013/01/who-was-john-barleycorn-folk-song-and.html

Donna Lombarda: a murder ballad from Italy

Leggi in italiano

“Donna Lombarda” (“Dame Lombarde” means “Lady from Lombardy,”) or “Dona Bianca”  (Dame White) is perhaps the most famous of the Italian ballads, also widespread in France and French Canada (Quebec). The ballad handed down to the present day through an infinity of regional variations, tells the story of a young wife instigated by her lover to poison her husband and of a newborn baby who miraculously begins to speak to reveal the intrigue. A typical murder ballad of Celtic area with a supernatural event!

Costantino Nigra considers “Donna Lombarda” originally from Piedmont and, according to the belief of the time that the ancient folk ballads reported the historical events dating back to the Middle Ages, identifies the woman in the Queen of the Lombards, Rosmunda; here is the legend, as the chronicle reported by Paul Deacon in the Historia Longobardorum: in 572 the daughter of the kings of the Gepids (ancient Pannonia) taken in marriage by the kings of the Lombards Alboin as “war trophy” organized the plot for killing her husband in favor of his lover Elmichi. However, the attempt to usurpation was unsuccessful and Rosmunda and Elmichi fled to Ravenna (together with part of the Longobard treasure). In Ravenna the two got married but Rosmunda had not lost the vice of infidelity, so soon after she tried to kill her second husband with the classic system so much advertised in the folk ballads: the poisoned food. Elmichi noticed the poison as he drank from the cup and forced Rosmunda to drink with him, thus they died killed by the same potion!

Queen Eleanor - Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys 1858
Queen Eleanor – Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys 1858

The Ballad: DONNA LOMBARDA

Probably the ballad “Dame Lombard” is not so ancient but it is spread in a large area from the North to the South of Italy. The textual and melodic versions change and the lyrics are adapted to the various dialects or rendered in an Italian so to speak “popular”, collected and classified here only in a small part.

NORTH-ITALY VERSIONS

The ballad with the title of “Dona Bianca”  is based on dialogues between the protagonists: the unfaithful wife, the lover, the husband and the child prodigy (because he speaks from the cradle while being newborn) . Yet an ancient noble context emerges in a few words : the husband returns from the hunt, preferred pastime by the medieval aristocracy, the garden where to find the snake is of a nobleman, the same name “Madonna” is a medieval term that is wife of a “dominus”.

La Lionetta (this song appears in several recordings, the first is in the album “Dances and Ballads of the Italian Celtic Area” Shirak, 1978) The version comes from Asti where it was collected by R. Leydi and F. Coggiola


O vòstu v’tti o dona Bianca
o vòstu v’nial ballo cun mi?
O si si si che mi a v ‘niria
ma j’o paura del me mari
Va n ‘tei giardino del mio galante(1)
la ié la testa dal serpentin
E ti t lu pie t lo piste in póer
e poi t’iu bute hit’un bicier ad vin
E so mari veti cà d’la cassa
o dona Bianca jo tanta sei
Ma va di là ‘nt’ la botejera
la jé un bicier dal vin pi bum
El cit enfant l’era ant’la cuna
papa papa beiv pò lulì
che la mamina vói fete muri
O beivlu ti o dona Bianca
se no t’lu fas beive a fil da spà
O si si si che mi lo bevria
ma jó paura d’ie mie masnà(2)
English translation  Cattia Salto
Do you want to come, Dame White ,
Do you want to come to the dance with me? “/”I’d like to come,
but I’m afraid of my husband.”
“Go to the garden of my gallant
there is the head of a serpent
and you take it and reduce it to dust
and then put it in a glass of wine ”
And the husband comes home from hunting/”O Dame White I am so thirsty”
“Go over to the cellar
there is a glass of the best wine ”
The little baby who was in the cradle/ “Daddy, daddy do not drink it
because mom wants to make you die ”
“Drink it yourself Dame White
otherwise I force you to drink with my sword “/ “Or yes, I would drink it,
but I fear for my children ”

NOTE
1) “galante” stands for a gentleman, a noble courtier; in other versions the garden is of the mother or the father of the woman
2) the woman tries to escape death by invoking her role as a mother. But the ballad is not complete, we can only imagine that the woman, forced by the sword to drink from the glass, dies poisoned!

In this other version coming from the land of “Quattro Province” the context is more direct and popular, instead of the invitation to the court ball, the man asks to have sex and the husband is back from work in the fields; but the ending is more complete both in the description of the woman’s death by poisoning that in the moralizing closing sentence.

Barabàn from Baraban 1994, text version collected in the field by the voice of Angelina Papa (1908), rice-worker of Sannazzaro de ‘Burgondi (Pavia)


Dona lombarda dona lombarda
fuma a l’amur fuma a l’amur
Mi no mi no o sciur cavaliere
che mi ‘l marito gh’i l’ò giamò
Là int’al giardino del mio bèl padre
si gh’è la testa dal serpentìn
la ciaparemo la pistaremo
fum ‘na butiglia dal noster bon vin
A vegn a cà ‘l sò marì d’in campagna
dona lombarda g’ò tanta set
O guarda lì int’la cardensola
gh’è una butiglia dal noster bon vin
L’è salta sù ‘l fantulìn de la cüna
bevalo nein bevalo nein
Cosa vuol dire dona lombarda
al noster bon vin l’è un po’ tulberì
Sarà la pulvara d’la cardensola
cà la fà ‘gnì un po’ tulberì
Dona lombarda dona lombarda
al noster bon vin t’la bévare ti
La prima guta che lu ‘l g’a dato
le la cumìncia a cambià i culur
secunda guta che la beviva
in tèra morta sì l’è cascà
Dona lombarda dona lombarda
arrivederci in paradìs
tà s’ta scardiva de fag’la ai alter
e ta t’le fada di ‘m bèla per tì
English translation  Cattia Salto
“Dame Lombarde, Dame Lombarde
let’s make love, let’s make love. ”
“Not me, not me, sir knight
that I have a husband already. ”
“There in the garden of my good father
there is the head of a pretty snake.
We’ll take it, we’ll crush it
in a bottle of our good wine. ”
Her husband comes house from fields
“Lombard woman, I am so thirsty”
“Oh, look there in the cupboard
there is a bottle of our good wine ”
the baby jumped on from the cradle:
“Do not drink it, do not drink it!”
“What does it mean, Dame Lombarde,
that our good wine is a little cloudy? ”
“It will be the dust of the cupboard
which makes it a little cloudy ”
Dame Lombarde, Dame Lombarde
our good wine, drink it! ”
After the first sip,
she begins to turn pale,.
after the second
she falled to the ground, dead.
“Dame Lombarde, Dame Lombarde
see you in Heaven!
You thought you were betraying others and you did it yourself. ”

Davide Bortolai from Ballate Lombarde 2007 (a remake very similar to the French version of the Malicorne)

The version from Venice has become a sort of “standard” supra-regional version

Giovanna Iris Daffini called “Callas of the Poor” in the text re-elaboration of Gualtiero Bertelli (founder of the Canzoniere Popolare Veneto)

 Francesco De Gregori & Giovanna Marini  from “Il fischio del vapore” – 2002 (Rome)

Fabrizio Poggi & Turututela fromCanzoni popolari 2002 (Pavia)

Le tre versioni testuali sono abbastanza simili, si riporta quella di Gualtiero Bertelli:


“Amami me che sono re”
“non posso amarti tengo marì”
“Tuo marito fallo morire, t’insegnerò come devi far:
Vai nell’orto del tuo buon padre taglia la testa di un serpentin
Prima la tagli e poi la schiacci
e poi la metti dentro nel vin”
Ritorna a casa il marì dai camp
” Donna Lombarda oh che gran sé”
“Bevilo bianco bevilo nero
bevilo pure come vuoi tu”
“Cos’è sto vino così giallino?”
“Sarà l’avanzo di ieri ser”
Ma un bambino di pochi mesi sta nella culla e vuole parlar
“O caro padre non ber quel vino
Donna Lombarda l’avvelenò”
“Bevilo tu o Donna Lombarda
tu lo berrai e poi morirai”
“E per amore del Re di Spagna
io lo berrò e poi morirò”
La prima goccia che lei beveva
lei malediva il suo bambin
Seconda goccia che lei beveva
lei malediva il suo marì
English translation  Cattia Salto
“Love me I’m a king”
“I can not love you I have a husband”
“Your husband will die, I will teach you how you must do:
Go to the garden of your good father cut the head of a snake
First cut it and then crush it and then put it in the wine ”
The husband returns from the fields
“Dame Lombarde I am so thirsty”
“Drink a withe wine, drink a red wine, drink it as you want”
“What is this wine so yellow?”
“it will be last night’s surplus”
But a child of a few months is in the cradle and wants to talk
“O dear father do not drink that wine
for Lombard Woman poisoned it”
“Drink it you Dame Lombarde
you will drink it and then you will die”
“And for love of the King of Spain
I will drink it and then I will die”
The first  sip she drank
was cursing her baby
after the second
she cursed her husband

CENTRAL-ITALY VERSIONS

Angelo Branduardi & Scintille di musica (Mantuan area) the version of Branduardi is shorter compared to the recording of Bruno Pianta collected by Andreina Fortunati of Villa Garibaldi (MN), 1975 (for the extended version here) The song is accompanied by the hurdy-gurdy, a typical popular instrument from the Middle Ages.


Donna lombarda, donna lombarda,
Ameme mì.
Cos volt che t’ama che ci ho il marito
Che lu ‘l mi vuol ben.
Vuoi vhe t’insegna a farlo morire
T’insegnerò mi.
Va co’ dell’orto del tuo buon padre
Là c’è un serpentin.
Vien cà il marito tutto assetato
Và a trar quel vin(1).
Ed un bambino di pochi anni
Lu l’ha palesà.
O caro padre non bere quel vino
Che l’è avvelenà.
Donna lombarda, bevi quel vino,
che l’è avvelenà. (2)
English translation  Cattia Salto
“Dame Lombarde, Dame Lombarde
love me ”
“How can I love you? I have a husband
who loves me”
“Do you want to teach you for killing him?/ I’ll teach you .
Go to the bottom of your good father’s garden,/ there is a little snake. ”
A thirsty husband comes home,
goes to get some wine.
But a child of a few years
he revealed it.
“O dear father, do not drink that wine
that is poisoned. ”
“Lombard woman, drink that wine,
that is poisoned. ”

NOTE
1) Branduardi skips the part where the woman crushes the head of the snake and puts it in the bottle of the best wine, as well as the fact that the husband knows how the wine is more turbid.
2) the ending


“Sol per amore del re di Francia,
sol per amore, del re di Francia io lo beverò
e poi morirò.”
Ogni goccino che lei beveva,
ogni goccino,che lei beveva: ”addio marì,
ciao marì”.
La s’intendeva da farla agli altri
la s’intendeva, da farla agli altri
la s’ l’è fata a le’
la s’ l’è fata a le’.
English translation  Cattia Salto
“I will drink it only for the love of the king of France,
I will drink it only for the love of the king of France,/and then I will die. ”
Every little drop that she drank
every little drop she drank: “farewell my husband.
Hi husband. ”
She really believed she was doing it to others
she really believed she was doing it to others
but she did it to herself
but she did it to herself

Caterina Bueno (Pistoia and Maremma area)
Franco Pacini

Riccardo Tesi & Maurizio Geri

The version was collected in 1979 by Franco Pacini (from Regina Innocenti of Pistoia) and was proposed by Caterina Bueno, who at the time continued to discover and cultivate young musicians of both popular and classical training.


– Donna lombarda, perché non m’ami?
Donna lombarda, perché non m’ami? –
– Perché ho marì.
Perché ho marì. –
– Se ciài il marito, fallo morire,
se ciài il marito, fallo morire,
t’insegnerò;
t’insegnerò:
Laggiù nell’orto del signor padre,
Laggiù nell’orto del signor padre
che c’è un serpèn
che c’è un serpèn
Piglia la testa di quel serpente,
piglia la testa di quel serpente,
pestàla ben,
pestàla ben.
Quando l’avrai bell’e pestata,
quando l’avrai bell’e pestata,
dagliela a be’,
dagliela a be’
Torna il marito tutto assetato,
torna il marito tutto assetato:
chiede da be’,
chiede da be’.
– Marito mio, di quale vuoi?
Marito mio, di quale vuoi?
Del bianco o il ne’?
Del bianco o il ne’? –
– Donna lombarda, darmelo bianco.
Donna lombarda, darmelo bianco:
ché leva la se’
ché leva la se’.
Donna lombarda, che ha questo vino?
Donna lombarda, che ha questo vino
Che l’è intorbé,
Che l’è intorbé?
– Saranno i troni dell’altra notte,
saranno i troni dell’altra notte,
che l’ha intorbé
che l’ha intorbé
S’alza un bambino di pochi mesi,
s’alza un bambino di pochi mesi:
– Babbo non lo be’
che c’è il velen
– Donna lombarda, se c’è il veleno,
Donna lombarda, se c’è il veleno,
lo devi be’ te,
lo devi ber te’.
English translation Cattia Salto
“Dame Lombarde why you dont’ love me?
“Because I have an husband.
Because I have an husband.”
“If you have an husband, we’ll make him die!
I’ll show you
I’ll show you
At the end of your father garden,
At the end of your father garden
you’ll find a snake
you’ll find a snake
cut the snake’s head,
cut the snake’s head
and crush it well
crush it well
When you’ll crush it well
When you’ll crush it well
you’ll offer (the poison) to your husband as a drink,
you’ll offer (the poison) to your husband as a drink.”
Her thirsty husband comes home,
Her thirsty husband comes home,
asking for some wine
asking for some wine.
“dear husband which you want?
dear husband which you want?
White or red?
White or red?”
“Dame Lombarde give me some white wine,
that removes my thirst
Dame Lombarde what has this wine?
It’s all torbid
It’s all torbid!”
The little baby speaks
The little baby speaks:
“Daddy don’t drink it,
that it is poisoned”
“Dame Lombarde if there is some poison
Dame Lombarden if there is some poison
you must drink it first
you must drink it first”

second part (french version)

LINK
https://homepage.univie.ac.at/helmut.satzinger/Wurzelverzeichnis/donnalomb.html
http://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=en&id=42932 http://goccedinote.blogspot.it/2012/05/donna-lombarda-testo-commento-e-video.html http://www.aess.regione.lombardia.it/percorsi/ canto_narrativo/canti/donna_lombarda/home.htm http://www.canzonierescout.it/g34.pdf http://www.umbc.edu/eol/magrini/mag-mus2.html http://www.webalice.it/macchiavelli/da_xoom/ donna_lombarda_malcapi_TTBB.pdf http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/739356?uid=3738296&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21103845500141 http://media.smithsonianfolkways.org/liner_notes/folkways/FW04482.pdf

Concealed death: Clerk Colvill & Georges Collins

Leggi in Italiano

Concealed death

LORD OLAF AND THE ELVES 
SCANDINAVIAN VARIANTS
BRITISH AND AMERICAN VERSIONS
FRENCH VERSIONS
ITALIAN VERSION

In The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, in Child ballad # 42 Clerck Colven (other titles Clerck Colvill or Earl Colvin) we find the same medieval ballad focused on the meeting between a knight about to marry and a fairy creature (or a jealous lover)

SCOTTISH VERSION:CLERK COLVILL CHILD # 42

The ballad begins with a quarrel between boyfriends: the future bride beseeches him not to visit his lover, a washerwoman, just on the eve of their wedding!
The knight denies any sexual involvement (normal administration!) but he is anxious to meet his lover again.
For a comparison between the versions A, B, C see the analysis by Christian Souchon (here)

Clerk-Colvill-ArthurRackhamThey have an obvious sexual relationship (in the coded language of the time), but then the man complains about his headache, she gives him a strip of fabric (poisoned) and announces his imminent death (or poisoning him by giving him one last kiss). The woman is clearly a water nymph and in fact as soon as the young man draws his sword to take revenge, she turns into a fish and dives into the water.

Frankie Armstrong from Till the Grass o’ergrew the corn 2006, ♪
The melody is an arrangement by Frankie from the one heard by Mrs. Brown from Falkirk, Stirling County.
Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch from  Fishe or Fowle 2017, ♪
“One of many ballads from across Europe in which a man is doomed to death by his Other-Worldly lover.
We have used the words of Child 42 version B and the only existing melody for them from Mrs Brown (Anna Gordon) of Falkland. The transcribed melody has given rise to endless debate about how the words should fit to the refrain line of the music. We have chosen to sidestep the argument and sing the verses as given omitting the problematic line of melody.”

VERSION A
I
Clerk Colven (1) and his gay (2) lady
Were walking in yon garden green,
A belt (3) around her middle so small
Which cost Clerk Colven crowns fifteen.
II
“O harken to me, my lord,” she says
“O, harken well to what I do say:
If you go to the walls of Stream (4),
Be sure you touch no well fair’d maid.”
III
“O, hold your tongue,” Clerk Colven said,
“And do not vex me with your din.
I never saw a fair woman
But with her body I could sin.” (5)
IV
He’s mounted on his berry-brown steed
And merrily merrily rode he on,
Until he came to the walls of Stream,
And there he spied the mermaiden (6).
V
“You wash, you wash you mermaiden”,
“O, I will wash your sark of the silk (7).
It’s all for you, my gentle knight,
My skin is whiter than the milk(8).”
VI
He’s taken her by the milk white hand
And likewise by the grass-green sleeve,
he’s laid her down all on the grass,
Nor of his lady need he ask leave (9).
VII
“Alas! Alas!” says Clerk Colven,
“For oh so sore is grown my head.”
Merrily laughed the mermaiden,
“Aye, even on, till you be dead.”
VIII
“But you pull out your little pen-knife,
And from my sark you shear a gore,
And bind it round your lovely head,
And you shall feel the pain no more.”
IX
So he’s took out his little pen-knife,
And from her sark he sheared a gore,
He’s bound it round his lovely head;
But the pain it grew ten-times more.
X
“Alas! Alas!” cries Clerk Colven,
“For now so sore is grown my head.”
Merrily laughed the mermaiden,
“’twill I be away and you’ll be dead.”
XI
So he’s pulled out his trusty sword,
And thought with it to spill her blood;
But she’s turned to a fish again
And merrily sprang into the flood.
XII
He’s mounted on his berry-brown steed,
And drear and dowie rode he home,
Until he’s come to his lady’s bower
And heavily he’s lighted down.
XIII
“O, mother, mother, make my bed,
O, gentle lady, lay me down(10);
O brother, brother, unbend my bow(11),
It’ll ne’er be bent by me again.”
XIV
His mother she has made his bed,
His gentle lady laid him down,
His brother he unbent his bow,
It ne’er was bent by him again.

NOTES
1) according to the Danish folklorist Svend Grundtvig the name Colven is a corruption of Olafur in “Olvill” from the Faroese language (the Norse has long been spoken in the islands of Scotland). Also Clerck is a mispronunciation of Herr for Lord, in the stanza V the siren calls him “gentle knight”
2) as Giordano Dall’Armellina observes, the lady in other versions is defined lusty, that is greedy and ultimately possessive.
3) the belt is clearly a love token, it was customary, in fact, to exchange the promise of engagement, giving a “trinket” to the lady, not necessarily a diamond ring as we use today, but a hair clip or belt (obviously not less expensive)
4) in version B it is “Wells of Slane” misunderstood as “Wall of Stream” in version A; it could refer to the “Loch o ‘Strom” on the Mainland the largest of the Shetland Islands. The sacred well is generally a cleft in the earth in which the magical and healing water flows from the mother goddess’s womb, but if the spirit of the place is not placated it becomes deadly water. But here it represents the erotic energy that attracts the knight
5) translated into simple words: “do you think I’m the kind of man who goes to bed with every woman he meets?”
6) mermaiden is the siren, but he could be a nymph or an undine, the term with which the magical creatures of the inner waters are classified (see more). In Scotland and especially in the islands it is identified with a selkie
7) the beautiful girl is depicted as a washerwoman washing clothes by beating them on a marble stone (variant C and D). The image recalls the girl of the ford of the Irish tradition that is a harbinger of imminent death (banshee)
8) it is known that a snow skin was a fundamental requirement for the sexual excitement of the medieval knight
9) the whole stanza is a coded language to say that they have had a sexual intercourse
10) death in this case is not concealed and even the girlfriend immediately learns the news
11) in other versions says “O brother, take my sword and spear” to indicate that he will be buried with the warrior’s set as it was the custom in burials for people of rank in ancient European civilizations.

AMERICAN VERSION: GEORGE COLLINS 

Published in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs it is the D version collected by George Gardiner in 1906 from the voice of Henry Stansbridge of Lyndhurst, Hampshire. The version, however, is very corrupt and diversified compared to the ballad of Norse origins.
It is the version on which American variants are modeled, almost transformed into a murder ballad.

Sam Lee The Ballad of George Collins from ‘Ground of its own’ 2012 (winner of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2012 see more) : amazing video clip

Shirley Collins from The Sweet Primroses 1967Alan Moores in a folk-country arrangement by Spud Gravely  version (in Ballads and Song of the Blue Ridge Mountains) also known as George Allen

 Sam Lee Version ( da qui)
I
George Collins walked out one may
morning, when may was all in bloom
and who  should he see but a fair pretty maid, washing her white marble stone (1)
II
She whooped she hollered she called so loud,
she waved her lilly white hand
“Come hither to me George Collins -cried she- for your life it won’t last you long”
III
He put his foot on the broad water side,
across the river sprung he,
he gripped his hands round her middle (2) so small and he kissed her red ruby lips (3)
IV
Then he road home to his father’s old house, loudly knocked with the ring
“arise, arise my father- he cried-
rise and please let me in”
V
“Oh arise, arise dear mother -he cried-
rise and make up my bed”
“arise, arise dear sister -he cried-
get a napkin (4) to tie round my head.
VI
For if I should die tonight
As I suppose I shall
Please bury me under that marble stone
That lies in fair Ellender’s hall(5)”
VII
Fair Ellender sat in her hall
weaving her silk so fine
who should she see but the finest corpse(6) that ever her eyes shone on
VIII
Fair Ellender called unto her head maid
‘Whose corpse is this so fine?’
she made her reply “George Collins is corpse an old true lover of mine”
IX
“Oh put him down my brave little boys
and open his coffin so wide
but I may kiss his red ruby lips
ten thousand times he has kissed mine”
X
This news been carried to fair London town
And wrote on London gate(7),
“six pretty maids died all in one night
‘twas all for George Collins’ sake”

NOTES
1) It is the stone on which the washerwoman beats and rubs her clothes. Another “marble stone” returns cited in the VI stanza, the marble slab in the hall or hill of Ellender
2) in the modest language of ballads it indicates a sexual relationship. Despite the jealous lover threatened him with death, George kisses her and embraces her: he probably does not consider her a danger
3) it is the deadly kiss of the nymph, (or the kiss of the plague) the woman is never described as a supernatural creature
4) the poisoned cloth that we saw in version A and B of Clerck Colven still comes back to wrap the sufferer’s head, but this time it’s a normal bandage
5) elsewhere written as hill. George is in his father’s house announcing his imminent death and asking to be buried in Ellender’s property. Shirley Collins sings
Bury me by the marble stone
That’s against Lady Eleanor’s hall.”
6) 6) the coffin was brought into the house of the lady who asked to remove the lid so that she could still kiss the lips of her lover. The sentence is a bit to be interpreted, it is the lady-in-waiting (or the housekeeper) to ask who is the corpse in the coffin. And it is Ellender who answers that he was her lover.
7) The final stanza seems to be a nineteenth-century addition in an ironic key, the six women died because of the venereal disease of George

french and breton versions 

LINK
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch042.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch085.htm
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/chants/colvill.htm
http://www.nspeak.com/allende/comenius/bamepec/multimedia/saggio1.htm
http://www.gestsongs.com/16/collins.htm

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18313
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/georgecollins.html
http://www.promonews.tv/videos/2012/11/01/sam-lee-ballad-george-collins-andrew-steggall
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2210
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=41600
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=140832
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=64646

Lord Thomas & Fair Eleanor (Child # 73)

Some scholars believe that the story (a kind of gothic fable) narrates the same love triangle of “William and Margaret” (Child #74) with the protagonist who instead of committing suicide prefers to go to church to kill her rival. As a Shakespeare’s tragedy, the murdered victims immediately become three.
[Alcuni studiosi ritengono che la vicenda (una sorta di favola gotica) narri dello stesso triangolo amoroso di “William and Margaret” (Child #74) con la protagonista che invece di suicidarsi preferisce andare in chiesa a uccidere la rivale. Come da copione shakespeariano nella tragedia i morti ammazzati diventano subito tre.]

Beware the brown-haired woman

ENGLISH VERSION

“Fair Eleanor (Ellinor, Elinor)” is also known as “The Brown Girl” or named Annet in a version by Percy.
The Ritchie family lyrics (here) is the one that most recalls the version sung in England with the title “Lord Thomas and the Fair Ellender” which has many features in common with the American versions.
Thomas in this context does not behave like a gentleman, rather he is a brutal character who is married only for money and has no respect for his wife. The blond Ellender instead of staying at home crying, refusing her role as lover and dying of heartbreak, goes in great fanfare at the wedding and is stabbed by the bride!
[“Fair Eleanor (Ellinor, Elinor)” è anche conosciuta come “The Brown Girl” o è chiamata Annet in una versione del Percy. La versione della famiglia Ritchie (qui) è quella che più richiama la narrazione diffusa in Inghilterra con il titolo ” Lord Thomas and the Fair Ellender” con molti tratti in comune con le versioni americane.
Thomas in questo contesto non si comporta da gentiluomo, è piuttosto un personaggio brutale che si è sposato solo per la dote e non ha nessun rispetto verso la moglie. La bionda Ellender invece di restare a casa a piangere, ricusare il suo ruolo di amante e morire di crepacuore, si reca in pompa magna al matrimonio e viene pugnalata dalla sposa!]

Jean Ritchie in Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians as Sung by Jean Ritchie, 1997

Hermes Nye in Early English Ballads from the Percy and Child Collections (Ballads Reliques) 1957

A. L. Lloyd in Bramble Briars and Beams of the Sun (lyrics)

 

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick

Naomi Bedford, 2011

 

Jean Ritchie Lyrics
I
“Mother, oh mother, come riddle me down
Come riddle two hearts as one
must I marry fair Ellender
or bring the brown girl home?”
II
“The brown girl she has gold (house) and lands,
fair Ellender she has none;
the only advice I can give you my son,
is (go) bring me the brown girl home”.
III
He rode till he come to fair Ellender’s gate,
he tingled the bell to his came
No one was ready as fair Ellender
herself she arose to let him (4) come in.
IV
‘What news, what news, Lord Thomas?’ she cried,
‘What news have you to me?’
‘I’ve come to ask you to my wedding
now what do you think of me?’
V
“Mother, oh mother, come riddle me down
Come riddle two hearts as one
must I go to Lord Thomas’s wedding,
Or stay at home and mourn?”.
VI
”Oh, the brown girl she’s got buissness there
You know you have got none
the only (best) advice I can give you my girl (daughter) Is stay at home and mourn.”
VII
She dressed herself in a snow-white dress,
her maids she dressed in green
and every town she rode through
they took her to be some queen.
VIII
She rode till she came to Lord Thomas’s gate
she pulled all in her reins
no one so  ready as Lord Thomas himself
to arise and bid her come in.
IX
He took her by the lilywhite hand
And led her through the hall,
Saying fifty fair ladies are here today
But here is the flower of all”.
X
‘Thomas Lord Thomas is this your bride,
she looks so wonderful brown,
you could have married a lady as fair
as ever England shone on”
XI
Lord Thomas cried,
‘Despise her not to me,
Despise her not to me.
‘cause do I love your little finger
Than all her whole body.’
XII
The brown girl  had a little pen-knife
it being both keen and sharp.
betwixt the long ribs and the short
she pierced fair Ellender to the heart.
XIII (no Naomi)
“O what’s the matter Fair Ellender she cried
you look so pale and wan
you used to have as rosy a color
as ever the sun shone on”
XIV
“Thomas, Lord Thomas Ellender cried,
are you blind that you cannot see?
Do you see my own heart’s blood
Come  down to my knee?’
XV
Lord Thomas he drew his sword from
his side
As he run (came) through the hall;
He cut off the head of his bonny brown bride
And kicked it against the wall
XVI
Then placing the handle (hilt) against the wall,
The point (blade) against his breast (heart),
Saying, “did you ever see three true lovers meet
that had so soon to part?
XVII
Oh mother, oh mother o dig my grave,
go dig it both wide and deep
And bury fair Ellender in my arms
And the brown girl at my feet”
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I(1)
“Madre oh madre risolveresti un dilemma,
per unire due cuori in uno :
devo sposare la bionda Ellender
o portare a casa la ragazza mora (2)?

II
“La ragazza mora ha denaro (case) e terre
e la bionda Ellender non ne ha;
l’unico consiglio che ti posso dare figlio mio
è di portarmi la ragazza mora a casa

III
Egli cavalcò fino al cancello della bionda Ellender e bussò alla porta (3);
la bionda Ellender in persona fu subito pronta
ad alzarsi e a farlo accomodare.
IV
Che novità mi hai portato, Lord Thomas? -gridò Che novità mi hai portato?
Sono venuto a invitarti al mio matrimonio;
così ora cosa pensi di me?” (5)
V
O madre, madre, risolveresti un dilemma
per unire due cuori in uno?

Dovrei andare al matrimonio di Lord Thomas o restare a casa a piangere ?
VI
E’ l’occasione della ragazza dai capelli neri,
non la tua,

il solo consiglio che ti posso dare  ragazza mia
è di restare a casa a piangere
VII (6)
Si vestì con della bella seta bianca come neve
e le sue damigelle erano vestite in verde
e per ogni città che attraversavano
la prendevano per una regina (7)
VIII
Cavalcò finchè arrivò al castello di Thomas
e tirò le redini
e fu Lord Thomas in persona
ad alzarsi e ad accoglierla.
IX
La prese per la mano bianco giglio
guidandola per la sala (del banchetto)
dicendo “Cinquanta belle dame sono qui oggi, ma ecco il fiore più bello” (8)
X
Thomas. Lord Thomas è questa la tua sposa?
Sembra così meravigliosamente mora,
non avresti potuto sposare la dama più bionda d’Inghilterra?(9)”
XI
Lord Thomas- gridò
Disprezzo su di lei non su di me,
Disprezzo su di lei non su di me,
perchè vale di più il tuo dito mignolo
che tutto il suo corpo“(10)
XII
La ragazza mora aveva uno stiletto (11)
aguzzo e tagliente.
tra le costole dello sterno
trafisse la bionda Ellender al cuore
XIII
Cosa succede bionda Ellender-grida lei-
sembri così pallida e debole
tu che di solito hai un colorito roseo
come il sole che brilla
XIV
Thomas, Lord Thomas -Ellender gridò-
sei cieco che non riesci a vedere?
Non vedi il sangue del mio stesso cuore
che mi gocciola fino ai piedi?
XV(12)
Lord Thomas sguainò la spada che aveva al fianco
e corse per il salone
e tagliò la testa della sua bella moglie mora
e la calciò contro il muro (13)
XVI
Poi mise il manico contro il muro
e la punta rivolta verso il proprio petto
dicendo “Avete mai visto tre amanti riuniti,
che si siano separati così velocemente?
XVII
O madre, madre scava la mia tomba
falla larga e profonda
e seppellisci la bionda Ellender tra le mie braccia e la ragazza mora ai miei piedi

NOTE
1) the initial stanza in which the two tragic lovers present themselves here is missing
[manca la strofa iniziale in cui si presentano i due tragici amanti]
2) the blonde and the black maiden have become in fairy tales two opposite types the blonde, sweet, submissive and good and the arrogant black, rude and bad. But they are both petty characters here, like Thomas; or better, characters driven by strong drives
[la bionda e la bruna sono diventate nelle favole due tipi contrapposti la bionda, dolce, remissiva e buona e la mora prepotente, sgarbata e cattiva. Senonchè qui sono entrambe dei personaggi meschini, come Thomas; o meglio personaggi guidati da forti pulsioni]
3) the action refers to an ingenious system to signal the arrival of a guest [letteralmente “tirò il campanello al suo arrivo” l’azione si riferisce a un sistema ingegnoso per segnalare l’arrivo di un ospite]
4) to arise and bid him (per alzarsi e darglielo)
5) here is Ellender’s answer in Child # 73 D
[manca la risposta di Ellender in Child # 73 D]
‘Oh, God forbid. Lord Thomas,’ she said,
‘That any such a thing should be done ;
For I thought to be the bride my own self,
And you was to be the bridegroom.’
[“Oh, Dio non voglia. Lord Thomas, “disse lei,
‘Che una cosa del genere debba accadere;
Perché pensavo di essere proprio io la sposa,
E tu dovevi essere lo sposo. ‘]
6) Naomi summarizes the two stanzas in one,
[Naomi riassume le due strofe in una,]
She dressed herself in a silk so fine
rode till she came to Thomas’s gate;
no one was  ready as Lord Thomas himself
to arise and let her come in.
(Si vestì con una seta raffinata
cavalcò finché arrivò alla porta di Thomas;
lo stesso Lord Thomas era pronto
ad alzarsi e a farla entrare)
7) Although Ellender is poor, her clothes and her bridesmaid procession are so sumptuous that it makes her look like a queen; it is true that in popular ballads there is often a tendency to add precious and rich details even in the most modest contexts, one would think of the intervention of a fairy’s magic wand; we can assume that Ellender was not so poor, probably belonged to a decayed branch of the nobility, rich in coats of arms, but with few resources
[nonostante Ellender sia povera, le sue vesti e il suo corteo di damigelle sono così sontuosi da farla sembrare una regina; vero è che nelle ballate popolari c’è spesso la tendenza a aggiungere dettagli preziosi e sfarzosi anche nei contesti più modesti, verrebbe da pensare all’intervento della bacchetta magica di una fata; possiamo presumere che Ellender non fosse poi così povera, probabilmente apparteneva ad un ramo decaduto della nobiltà, ricco di blasoni, ma con poche risorse]
8) or 
“he seated her down in the highest place/ amongst the ladies all” (tradotto:” la fece sedere al posto d’onore tra tutte le dame”)
9) or “as ever the sun shone on”.
The intentions of Ellender are obvious: she went to the wedding to make a scene and humiliate the bride (backed by the behavior of Thomas, who does not seem to care for his wife but has eyes only for the blonde) The aesthetic canon of beauty corresponds to that of a noble lineage and a noble appearance.
The black rival could belong to the enriched bourgeoisie and despite her wealth does not possess the moral qualities, the education and the appearance of the aristocracy
[Le intenzioni di Ellender sono così palesate: è andata alle nozze per fare una piazzata e umiliare la sposa (spalleggiata dal comportamento di Thomas, che non sembra curarsi della moglie ma ha occhi solo per la bionda)Il canone estetico della bellezza corrisponde a quello di un nobile lignaggio e di un nobile aspetto.
La rivale mora potrebbe appartenere alla borghesia arricchita e nonostante la sua ricchezza non possiede le qualità morali, l’educazione e l’aspetto dell’aristocrazia ]
10) letteralmente “perchè io amo di più il tuo mignolo che tutto il suo corpo”
scritto anche come “trinkling down to my knee?”
11) the favorite weapon of murderers (and women) because it is easy to hide under the mantle or in the sleeve of the dress. The description of how it is used is appropriate because it is made to penetrate strongly into the sternum to pierce the heart.
[l’arma prediletta dagli assassini (e dalle donne) perché facile da nascondere sotto il mantello o nella manica dell’abito. La descrizione di come viene usato è appropriata in quanto è fatto penetrare con forza nello sterno per trafiggere il cuore.]
12) Naomi version
Lord Thomas he was standing by
With knife ground keen and sharp,
Between the long ribs and the short
He pierced his own bride’s heart.
He put the handle to the ground,
the point to his heart.
No sooner did three lovers meet,
No sooner did they part.
(Lord Thomas era in attesa
Con il coltello lungo e affilato,
Tra le costole dello sterno
perforò il cuore della sua sposa.
Mise il manico a terra,
e la punta verso il suo cuore.
Appena i tre amanti si incontrarono,
subito si separarono)
13) the most splatter and truculent version that reaffirms the brutality of the Lord, the strength of his anger and his contempt.
[la versione più splatter e truculenta che ribadisce la brutalità del Lord, la forza della sua ira e del suo disprezzo.]

American version

LINK
https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Poetry/lord_thomas_and_fair_ellinor.htm
http://www.idigbluegrass.com/lord-thomas-and-fair-ellender-the-brown-girl/
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/19-lord-thomas-and-fair-annet-.aspx
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/159.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/lordthomasandfaireleanor.html

Fair Ellender

Some scholars believe that the story (a kind of gothic fable) narrates the same love triangle of “William and Margaret” (Child #74) with the protagonist who instead of committing suicide prefers to go to church to kill her rival. As a Shakespeare’s tragedy, the murdered victims immediately become three.
[Alcuni studiosi ritengono che la vicenda (una sorta di favola gotica) narri dello stesso triangolo amoroso di “William and Margaret” (Child #74) con la protagonista che invece di suicidarsi preferisce andare in chiesa a uccidere la rivale. Come da copione shakespeariano nella tragedia i morti ammazzati diventano subito tre.]

AMERICAN VERSION

Also known as “The Brown Girl” the ballad of Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender comes from the Seeger family, a large American family of folk-singers and musicians, starting with the musicologist Charles Seeger (1886–1979))
[Nota anche con il titolo “The Brown Girl” la ballata di Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender proviene dalla famiglia Seeger, una grande famiglia americana di folk-singer e musicisti, a partire dal musicologo Charles Seeger (1886–1979)]

The story resumes the English version already analyzed here while the melody is resolved in a bluegrass key to waltz time.
In the twentieth century the folk singers tried to summarize the old ballads, reducing them in a dozen verses, combining them with catchy and danceable instrumental parts.
[La storia riprende la versione inglese già analizzata qui mentre la melodia è risolta in chiave bluegrass a tempo di valzer.
Nel Novecento i folk singer si sforzavano di riassumere le vecchie ballate riducendole in una decina di strofe, abbinandole a parti strumentali orecchiabili e ballabili.]

Peggy & Mike Seeger  in American Folk Songs Sung by the Seegers 1957

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman in Shady Grove 1996

The “brevity” of the story flattens the characters in the chronicle of an announced death, it is a murder ballad with a motive, jealousy.
[La “brevità” della storia appiattisce i personaggi nella cronaca di una morte annunciata, è una murder ballad con un movente, la gelosia.]


I
“Father, oh father, come riddle to me,
Come riddle it all in one,
And tell me whether to marry Fair Ellender
Or bring the Brown girl home.”
II
The Brown girl she has house and land,
Fair Ellender she has none,
And there I charge you with the blessing
To bring the Brown girl home.
III
He got on his horse and he rode and he rode,
He rode ‘til he came to her home,
And no one so ready as Fair Ellender herself
To rise and bid him in.
IV
What news have you brought unto me,
Lord Thomas?
What news have you brought unto me?
I’ve come to ask you to my wedding,
A sorrowful wedding to be.
V
Oh mother, oh mother,
would you go or stay?
Fair child, do as you please,
I’m afraid if you go you’ll never return
To see your mother any more.
VI
She turned around and dressed in white
Her sisters dressed in green,
And every town that they rode through
They taken her to be some queen.
VII
They rode and they rode
‘til they came to the hall,
She pulled at the bell and it rang
And no one so ready as Lord Thomas himself
To rise and welcome her in.
VIII
He taken her by her lily white hand
and leading her through the hall
Saying fifty gay ladies are here today
But here is the flower of all.
IX
The Brown girl she was standing by
With knife ground keen and sharp,
Between the long ribs and the short,
She pierced Fair Ellender’s heart.
X
Lord Thomas he was standing by
With knife ground keen and sharp,
Between the long ribs and the short
He pierced his own bride’s heart.
XI
By placing the handle against the wall,
The point against his breast,
Saying, “This is the ending of three true lovers,
God sends us all to rest.
XII
Oh father, oh father, go dig my grave,
Go dig it wide and deep,
And place fair Ellender in my arms
And the Brown girl at my feet.
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Padre (1) oh padre risolveresti un dilemma,
una volta per tutte?

Dimmi se devo sposare la bionda Ellender
o portare a casa la ragazza mora
II
La ragazza mora possiede case e terre
e la bionda Ellender non ha niente
ed ecco ti affido la mia benedizione
per portare a casa la ragazza mora
III
Egli prese il suo cavallo e cavalcò, cavalcò
cavalcò finchè raggiunse la casa di lei
e fu la bionda Ellender in persona
ad alzarsi e a farlo entrare.
IV
Che novità mi hai portato,
Lord Thomas?
Che novità mi hai portato?
Sono venuto a invitarti al mio matrimonio;
che sarà un triste sposalizio
V
O madre, madre,
dovrei andare o restare?

Bella bambina, fai come credi,
temo che se andrai non ritornerai più
a rivedere tua madre

VI
Si guardò intorno e si vestì in bianco (2)
le sorelle si vestirono in verde
e in ogni città che attraversavano
la prendevano per una regina
VII
Cavalcarono e cavalcarono
finchè arrivarono al castello
lei si attaccò al campanello e lo tirò
e fu Lord Thomas in persona
ad alzarsi e ad accoglierla.
VIII
La prese per la mano bianco giglio
guidandola per la sala (del banchetto)
dicendo “Cinquanta belle dame sono qui oggi, ma ecco la bella tra le belle” (3)
IX
La ragazza mora che stava lì accanto,
con lo stiletto aguzzo e tagliente.
tra le costole dello sterno
trafisse il cuore della bionda Ellender
X
Lord Thomas che stava lì accanto,
con lo stiletto aguzzo e tagliente.
tra le costole dello sterno
trafisse il cuore della propria moglie.
XI
Poi mise il manico contro il muro
e la punta rivolta verso il proprio petto
dicendo “Questa è la fine di tre veri innamorati,
che Dio ci conceda il riposo
XII
O padre padre vai a scavare la mia tomba,
falla larga e profonda

e metti la bionda Ellender tra le mie braccia
e la ragazza mora ai miei piedi

NOTE
1) in the Scottish versions (still linked to a Celtic substrate) it is the mother to be questioned about the girl to marry, but in a patriarchal society it is the landlord to make such decisions
[nelle versioni scozzesi (ancora collegate a un substrato celtico) è la madre ad essere interrogata in merito alla fanciulla da sposare, ma in una società patriarcale è il padrone di casa a prendere tali decisioni]
2) white as a color for the wedding dress became fashionable only in the nineteenth century after Queen Victoria married her beloved Prince Albert with a sumptuous dress in satin and lace (see) [il bianco come colore per l’abito da sposa diventa di moda solo nell’Ottocento dopo che la regina Vittoria ha sposato il suo amato principe Alberto con un sontuoso abito in satin e pizzo (vedi)]
3) in this version is Thomas to offend the bride with black hair publicly preferring the blonde Ellender, she will be in his arms in the tomb [in questa versione è Thomas ad offendere la sposa dai capelli neri preferendole pubblicamente la bionda Ellender, sarà lei a volere tra le braccia nel sepolcro]

FONTI
https://singout.org/2012/01/02/fair-ellender/
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3725
http://www.folkways.si.edu/the-seeger-family/the-brown-girl-lord-thomas-and-fair-ellender/american-folk/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/recordings–info-73-lord-thomas-and-fair-annet.aspx
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/lord-thomas-and-fair-ellinor-a-preliminary-study.aspx
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us–canada-versions-73-lord-thomas–fair-annet.aspx
http://ingeb.org/songs/lordthom.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17932

Love Henry/ Henry Lee

Child Ballad #68
TITLES: Young Hunting, Henry Lee, Love Henry, Earl Richard, The Proud Girl.

A medieval murder ballad on the classic love triangle: the false lover, stabbed by his jealous lady, is throwed in a river/ well. In the final, the figure of a bird appears as the witness.
We find traces about the original scottish ballad dating back to the 1700s, a murder ballad that has spread orally in the British Isles and America. The ballad takes up the “predator theme” already seen in Lady Isobel and the Elfin Knight but this woman kills not to defend herself, but out of jealousy (the classic crime of passion).
Una murder ballad medievale sul classico triangolo amoroso, non ha come vittima la donna, ma il falso innamorato, pugnalato dall’amante gelosa, che nasconde il corpo gettandolo in un fiume/pozzo. Nel finale compare anche la figura di un uccellino nel ruolo di testimone.
Della ballata originaria della Scozia si trovano tracce scritte risalenti al 1700, una murder ballad che si è diffusa oralmente nelle isole britanniche e in America. La ballata riprende il “tema del predatore” visto già in Lady Isobel and the Elfin Knight e questa donna uccide non per difendersi, ma per gelosia (il classico delitto passionale).

ARCHIVE
Earl Richard/ Young Hunting (english and scottish versions)
Love Henry, Henry Lee (american versions)

AMERICAN VERSIONS

In Britain, the song seems to have been largely confined to Scotland, but in America it has been found in most areas east of the Mississippi (there are also several versions from Texas). Bertrand Bronson’s Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads lists forty-three melodies, mostly American but also from Ireland and Canada’s Maritime provinces. Versions with strong connections to modern old-time music can be found in Belden and Randolph. The most recent publications are in Warner and in Cazden/Haufrect/Studer.” (from here)
In Gran Bretagna, la canzone sembra essere stata in gran parte confinata in Scozia, ma in America è stata trovata in molte zone ad est del Mississippi (ci sono anche diverse versioni dal Texas). Bertrand Bronson nelle “Melodie tradizionali delle Ballate di Child” elenca una quarantina di melodie, per la maggior parte americane ma anche dell’Irlanda e delle province marittime canadesi.Le versioni con forti legami con la moderna old-time music si possono trovare a Belden e Randolph Le pubblicazioni più recenti sono in Warner e in Cazden / Haufrect / Studer. “(tratto da qui)

LOVE HENRY

The ballad spread in America with the title “Love Henry”, reported in dozens and dozens of collections, documented with numerous field recordings kept in the Library of Congress dating back to the 1940s. There are so many texts and melodies, so I I will limit myself to only a few examples.
La ballata si è diffusa in America con il titolo “Love Henry”, riportata in decine e decine di raccolte, documentata con numerose registrazioni sul campo conservate presso la Biblioteca del Congresso risalenti agli anni 1940. Testi e melodie sono veramente tante, per cui mi limiterò solo a pochi esempi.

Jolie Holland in The Living and The Dead

Bob Dylan in Love gone wrong 1993 (su Spotify)


I
“Get down, get down, Love Henry,” she cried.
“And stay all night with me.
I have gold chains, and the finest I have
I’ll apply them all to thee.”
II
“I can’t get down and I shan’t get down,
Or stay all night with thee (you).
Some (There’s a)  pretty little girl in Cornersville (1)
I love far better than thee (you).”
III
He (she) layed his head on a pillow of down.
Kisses she gave him three.
With a penny knife that she held in her hand
She murdered mortal he.
IV
“Get well, get well, Love Henry, ” She cried,
“Get well, get well,” said she.
“Oh don’t you see my own heart’s blood
Come flowin’ down so free?”
V
She took him by his long yellow hair,
And also by his feet (at the knee).
She plunged him into well water, where
It runs both cold and deep.
VI
“Lie there, lie there, Love Henry,” she cried,
“Til the flesh rots off your bones.
Some pretty little girl in Cornersville
Will mourn for your return.”
VII
(Hush up, hush up my parrot, she cried
Don’t tell any tales on me
These costly beads around my neck
I’ll apply them all to thee)
VIII
(I won’t fly down and I can’t fly down
And light on your right knee
A girl who’d murdered her own true love
Would kill a little bird like me)
IX
“Hush up (Fly down), hush up (Fly down), my parrot,” she cried,
“And light on my right knee.
The doors to your cage shall be decked with gold/And hung on a willow tree.”
X
“I won’t fly down, I can’t fly down
And light on your right knee.
A girl who would murder her own true love
Would kill a little bird like me.”
Traduzione italiano Michele Murino*
I
“Vieni qui, vieni qui, amato Henry”, disse lei
“E resta con me tutta la notte.
Ho catene d’oro, e le più belle che ho
le metterò tutte a te”
II
“Non posso venire e non verrò
nè resterò tutta la notte con te
C’è una bella ragazzina
a Cornersville
che amo molto più di te”
III
Lui chinò la testa sul guanciale di piume
Lei gli diede tre baci
e con un coltello che teneva nella mano
lo colpì a morte
IV
“Guarisci, guarisci, amato Henry” gridò lei
“Guarisci, guarisci” disse
“Oh, non vedi il sangue
che sgorga copioso dal mio cuore?”
V
Lo prese per i suoi lunghi capelli biondi
e per i piedi [e per le ginocchia]
lo immerse nella fredda acqua del pozzo
dove precipitò
VI
“Giaci lì, giaci lì, amato Herny”, disse piangendo
“Finchè la carne si staccherà dalle tue ossa imputridendosi, una graziosa ragazzina a Cornersville piangerà per il tuo ritorno”
VII
[“Taci, pappagallo mio, taci” gridò
non raccontarmi storielle
queste costose perle attorno al collo
le metterò tutte a te]
VIII
[“Non volerò, non volerò
per posarmi sulle tue ginocchia
Una ragazza che uccide il suo amato
ucciderebbe un uccellino come me”]
IX
“Taci, (vola qui) pappagallo mio, taci (vola qui)” gridò
“E posati sulle mie ginocchia
Le porte della tua gabbia saranno ornate con oro, appesa a un salice piangente”
X
“Non volerò, non volerò
per posarmi sulle tue ginocchia
Una ragazza che uccide il suo amato
ucciderebbe un uccellino come me”

NOTE
in brackets the variation of the text in the version by Jolie Holland
* (da qui), tra parentesi la variazione del testo nella versione di Jolie Holland

1) Cornersville is a municipality in the United States of America, located in the State of Tennessee, in Marshall County [è un comune degli Stati Uniti d’America, situato nello Stato del Tennessee, nella Contea di Marshall]

Bonnie Dobson live 1962


I
“Come in, come in, my love Henry,
wont’t you stay all night with me.
and you shall have both of my coal
and my fire burning bright,
oh, oh burning bright”
II
“Well I won’t come in, no, I won’t come in,
nor stay all night with you
for I have a girl in Cornersville 
and I love far better than you,
oh, oh far better than you.”
III
He layed his head on a pillow of down.
and kisses she gave him three.
With a little pen-knife she held in her hand
She murdered him so cruely,  oh oh so cruely
IV
“That he was laied or live my Love Henry,
for an hour or two or three”
“Oh can’t you see my own heart’s blood
it’s comes flowin’ down so free, so free?”
V
She took him by his long yellow hair,
And also by his feet 
She plunged him in her cold, cold well
it was fifthy fathoms deep, fathoms deep.
 
VI
“Stay lie there, lie there, my Love Henry,
Til the flesh rots off your bones.
Some pretty girl in Cornersville
may mourn for your return, for your return.”
VII
“Fly down, fly down pretty Polly-said she-
Don’t tell any tales on me
and I’ll deck your cage with purest gold
And hung on a willow tree, yon willow tree “
VIII
I won’t fly down no, I won’t fly down
I won’t fly down -said she-for a girl who’d murdered her own true love/ Would kill a little bird like me, little bird like me
IX
If I had my arrow and my dart
my bow and my string
I’d shoot a dart straight through your heart,
You’d never more would sing.
Oh, oh, oh, and you’d never more would sing
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
“Vieni qui, vieni qui, mio amato Henry
vuoi restare tutta la notte con me,
e avrai sia il mio carbone
che il fuoco che arde allegramente
oh, oh che arde allegramente”
II
“Beh non verrò, non verrò
nè resterò tutta la notte con te
perche ho una ragazza a Cornersville
che amo molto più di te,
molto più di te”
III
Lui chinò la testa sul guanciale di piume
Lei gli diede tre baci
e con un coltello che teneva nella mano
lo assassinò con viltà, con viltà
IV
“Che egli stia steso e viva, il mio amato Henry
per un ora o due o tre”
“Oh, non vedi il sangue
che sgorga copioso dal mio cuore?”
V
Lo prese per i suoi lunghi capelli biondi
e per i piedi
lo immerse nel pozzo freddo
profondo 50 piedi
VI
“Giaci lì, giaci lì, amato Herny
finchè la carne si staccherà dalle tue ossa imputridendosi, una graziosa ragazzina a Cornersville piangerà per il tuo ritorno”
VII
“Vola qui, vola qui bella Polly” gridò lei
“non raccontarmi storielle
e io addobberò la tua gabbia con oro zecchino
e l’appenderò al salice”
VIII
“Non volerò, non volerò
non volerò giù -dice (il pappagallo)-
Una ragazza che uccide il suo amato
ucciderebbe un uccellino come me”
IX
Se avessi la mia freccia e il mio dardo
il mio arco e corda
tirerei un dardo dritto fino al tuo cuore
e mai più potrai cantare
oh, oh e mai più potrai cantare”

Peggy Seeger – Love Henry ,
text very similar to Crooked Still version [testo molto simile alla versione di Crooked Still]

Peggy Seeger –Henry Lee in in “Heading for Home” 1999, same melody as the previous version but slightly different text
[stessa melodia delle precedente versione ma testo leggermente diverso]

This glorious version of Child Ballad # 68, “Young Hunting.” is one of Peggy’s favorites. Her text is an amalgam from many sources; the tune is derived from that sung by Jane Gentry to Cecil Sharp at Hot Springs, NC, 1916. This in turn has been printed in Sharp’s English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (1932), vol. 1, p. 101; in Bertrand Harris Bronson’s The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, vol. 2, p. 78; and in Betty Smith’s Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers (1998), p. 146. For full notes and sources, see Tristram Potter Coffin and Roger deV. Renwick’s The British Traditional Ballad in North America (1977), pp. 66-68. Peggy’s version fits their Story Type A. She recorded it previously on Prestige 13005, The Best of Peggy Seeger. (Joe Hickerson, August 2003 from here)
Questa magnifica versione di Child Ballad # 68, “Young Hunting” è tra le preferite di Peggy. Il suo testo è un amalgama da molte fonti; la melodia è derivata da quella cantata da Jane Gentry a Cecil Sharp a Hot Springs, NC, 1916. Questa a sua volta è stata stampata nelle canzoni popolari inglesi di Sharp dagli Appalachi del Sud (1932), vol. 1, p. 101; in Bertrand Harris Bronson The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, vol. 2, p. 78; e in Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers (1998) di Betty Smith, p. 146. Per le note e le fonti complete, vedi Tristram Potter Coffin e Roger deV. The British Traditional Ballad di Renwick in Nord America (1977), pp. 66-68. La versione di Peggy si adatta al loro tipo di storia A. Registrata precedentemente su Prestige 13005, The Best of Peggy Seeger.


I
“Come in come in , my love Henry Lee
And stay with me this night
And you should have both candle and coal (1)
My fire’s burning bright
My fire’s burning bright”
II
“I won’t come in , I can’t come in
I won’t come in at all
There’s a lady ten times fairer than you
Wait me in Lord Barnett’s hall 
Wait me in Lord Barnett’s hall”
III
He’s bended him o’er her soft pillow
to give her a kiss so sweet
she drew her little pen-knife in her hand
and wounded him full deep 
and wounded him full deep
IV
“I will come in, I must come in
I’ll tell the truth to thee
There is no lady in Barnett’s hall (2)
That I love more better than thee
I love more better than thee”
V
“O live, my love, Lord Henry, –she said –
an hour or two or three,
Andall these cards (3) about my waist
I will freely give to thee, 
I will freely give to thee”
VI
All them cards about your waist
would be no used to me
Don’t you see my own heart’s blood
Come twinkling down my knee
Come twinkling (trickling) down my knee
VII
She took him by his long yellow hair
and also by his feet
She threw him in her cool draw-well
Full fifty fathoms deep
Full fifty fathoms deep
VIII
“Lie there, my Love Henry- she said –
I know you will not swim
This lady ten times fairer than me
will never see you again
will never see you again”
IX
“Light down, light down, my pretty little bird
Light down all upon my knee”
“No, a girl who’d murder her own true love
Would kill a little bird like me
Would kill a little bird like me”
X
“If I I had my arrow in my hand
My bow and a tunefull  string
I’d shoot my dart through your heart
That you’d no longer sing
You’d no longer sing”
XI
“I wished you had your bending bow
Your arrow and your string
I’d fly away to Barnett’s hall
You’d always hear me sing
You’d always hear me sing”
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
“Vieni qui, vieni qui, mio amato Henry
resta con me stanotte,
e avrai candele e carbone
e il mio fuoco che arde allegramente
il mio fuoco arde allegramente”
II
“Non verrò, non verrò
non verrò affatto
c’è una dama 10 volte più bella di te
che mi aspetta al castel Barnett
che mi aspetta al castel Barnett”
III
Lui chinò la testa sul guanciale di piume
per darle un tenero bacio
estrasse un coltello dalla mano
e lo ferì profondamente
e lo ferì profondamente
IV
“Resterò con te, resterò con te
ti dirò la verità
non c’è nessuna dama a Castel Barnett
che io ami più di te
che io ami più di te”
V
“O vivi, amore mio, Lord Henry- dice lei-
per un ora o due o tre
e tutte queste carte a tracolla
le darò liberamente a te
le darò liberamente a te”
VI
“Tutte quelle carte a tracolla
non mi saranno di alcun aiuto,
non vedi il sangue dal mio stesso cuore
che stilla sulle mie ginocchia,
che stilla sulle mie ginocchia?”
VII
Lo prese per i suoi lunghi capelli biondi
e anche per i piedi
lo gettò nel suo stagno
profondo 50 piedi
profondo 50 piedi
VIII
“Giaci lì, giaci lì, amato Herny-disse lei-
lo so che non sai nuotare
quella dama dieci volte più bella di me
non ti rivedrà mai più
non ti rivedrà mai più”
IX
“Vola qui, vola qui bell’uccellino
vola qui sulle mie ginocchia”
“No, una fanciulla che uccide il suo amore
ucciderebbe un uccellino come me
ucciderebbe un uccellino come me”
IX
Se avessi la mia freccia in mano
e l’arco ben teso
tirerei un dardo nel tuo cuore
e non canteresti più
e non canteresti più”
XI
“Vorrei che tu avessi l’arco armato
con freccia e corda,
volerei a Castel Barnett
per spifferare tutto
per spifferare tutto”

NOTE
1) or comb (pettine)
2) to have his life saved, he denies having another relationship [dopo che l’uomo è stato ferito, per avere salva la vita nega di avere un’altra relazione]
3) a mondegreens [qualche parola confusa nella trasmissione orale? ]

HENRY LEE

One of the first American recordings that brought the ballad “Young Hunting” to the Folk club circuits
Una delle prime registrazioni americane che riportò nei circuiti dei Folk club la ballata “Young Hunting”
Dick Justice
in “Anthology of american folk music“, 1952
Dick Justice performed the song with his guitar in regular tuning, in the key of G. His playing style, on this song is the straightforward “hit bass, strum chord”, played in 3/4 time (waltz time). He sings it in the upper register, so characteristic of these early country artists. The melody is similar to the well-known Carter Family’s “Storms are on the ocean”. Singing ballads with guitar accompaniment was becoming more and more common in the early 20’s and 30’s and there are very few examples of solo ballad singing during the 78rpm records area. One has to go to field recordings made by folklorists all along the 20th century  to hear the unaccompanied singing of ballad singers. Due to the restricting nature of a chordal instruments like the guitar and the three minutes performance allowed but the 78rpm formats, these old ballads were often changed a lot for the new medium. The singer had to adapt his timing to the instrument and the story was shortened and cut down to only a few verses. (from here)
Dick Justice ha eseguito la canzone con la sua chitarra in accordatura regolare, in SOL. Il suo stile di esecuzione, su questa canzone è il semplice “hit bass, strum chord”, suonato in 3/4 time (tempo di valzer). Lo canta nel registro superiore, così caratteristico di questi primi artisti di campagna. La melodia è simile a “Storms are on the ocean” della famosa famiglia Carter. Le ballate con accompagnamento di chitarra stavano diventando sempre più comuni nei primi anni ’20 e ’30 e ci sono pochissimi esempi di ballate con canto solista sui i 78 giri. Si deve andare alle registrazioni sul campo fatte dai folcloristi per tutto il 20 ° secolo per ascoltare il canto non accompagnato dei cantanti di ballate. A causa della natura restrittiva di strumenti a corda come la chitarra e la performance di tre minuti consentita ma i formati da 78 giri, queste vecchie ballate sono state spesso cambiate molto per adattarle al nuovo mezzo. Il cantante ha dovuto adattare i tempi e la storia è stata accorciata e ridotta a meno versi”


I
“Get down, get down, little Henry Lee,
and stay all night with me.
The very best lodging I can afford
will be fare better’n thee.”
II
“I can’t get down, and I won’t get down,
and stay all night with thee,
For the girl I have in that merry green land,
I love far better’n thee.”
III
She leaned herself against a fence,
just for a kiss or two;
With a little pen-knife (1) held in her hand,
she plugged him through and through.
IV
“Come all you ladies in the town,
a secret for me keep,
With a diamond ring held on my hand
I’ll never will forsake.
V
Some take him by his lily-white hand,
some take him by his feet.
We’ll throw him in this deep, deep well,
more than one hundred feet.
VI
Lie there, lie there, loving Henry Lee,
till the flesh drops from your bones.
The girl you have in that merry green land
still waits for your return.”
VII
“Fly down, fly down, you little bird,(2)
and alight on my right knee.
Your cage will be of purest gold,
in deed of property (3).”
VIII
“I can’t fly down, or I won’t fly down,
and alight on your right knee.
A girl would murder her own true love
would kill a little bird like me.”
IX
“If I had my bend and bow (4),
my arrow and my string,
I’d pierce a dart so nigh your heart
your wobble(5) would be in vain.”
X
“If you had your bend and bow,
your arrow and your string,
I’d fly away to the merry green land
and tell what I have seen.”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
“Vieni qui, vieni qui mio piccolo Henry Lee
e resta con me tutta la notte.
la stanza migliore che posso permettermi
sarà molto meglio con te”
II
“Non posso venire e non verrò
nè resterò con te tutta la notte 
per la ragazza che ho in quella bella terra verde
e amo molto più di te”
III
Si sporse dallo steccato
disse che era solo per un bacio
e con il coltello che teneva nella mano
lo trapassò più e più volte
IV
“Venite tutte voi signore della città
tenete un segreto per me 
all’anello di diamante che porto sulla mano,
mai rinuncerò!
V
Una lo prenda per per le mani bianco giglio
l’altra per i piedi
lo butteremo in quel pozzo profondo, profondo
più di cento piedi.
VI
Giaci lì, giaci lì, amato Herny Lee
finchè la carne si staccherà dalle tue ossa, 
la ragazza che hai in quel bel paese,
aspetterà in eterno il tuo ritorno “
VII
“Vola giù, tu uccellino 
e posati sulle mie ginocchia
la tua gabbia sarà d’oro purissimo
di tua completa proprietà”
VIII
“Non volerò, non volerò giù
per posarmi sulle tue ginocchia,
una ragazza che uccide il suo vero amore
ucciderebbe un uccellino come me”
IX
“Se avessi il mio arco armato
con corda e freccia
tirerei un dardo al tuo cuore
e il tuo trillo sarebbe inutile”
X
“Se tu avessi arco armato
con corda e freccia
volerei via verso il bel paese
per raccontare quello che ho visto”

NOTE
1) The woman in classical murder ballads mostly kills with a dagger, almost always out of jealousy, the rival or unfaithful lover or both. Today, however, the dagger (or knife) is considered a typically male weapon. [La donna nelle murder ballads classiche uccide per lo più con uno stiletto, quasi sempre per gelosia, la rivale o l’amante infedele o entrambi. Oggi invece il pugnale (o il coltello) è considerato un arma tipicamente maschile.]
2) in fairy tales the animals of the forest and especially the birds, possess the gift of speech and interact with the characters of history, our little bird is an eyewitness [nelle fiabe gli animali del bosco e specialmente gli uccelli, possiedono il dono della parola e interagiscono con i personaggi della storia, il nostro uccellino è un testimone oculare]
3) indeed, a property; the figure of the parrot is like grafted by another ballad titled “False Sir John” or “May Colvin”, the young man promises him a gold cage, in exchange for silence.
[la figura del pappagallo è come innestata da un’altra ballata dal titolo “False Sir John” o “May Colvin”, la giovane gli promette una gabbietta d’oro, in cambio del silenzio. ]
4) “bended bow”
5) warble

Nick Cave & PJ Harvey & Bad Seeds in Murder Ballads 1996.
The version is rewritten and arranged with the personal style of Nick Cave, the music clip is directed by Rocky Schenck a languid duet, a sort of romantic macabre dance
[La versione è riscritta ed arrangiata con lo stile personale di Nick Cave, la clip musicale è diretta da Rocky Schenck un languido duetto, una sorta di romantica danza macabra]


PJ HARVEY:
Get down, get down,
little Henry Lee
And stay all night with me
You won’t find a girl in this damn world
That will compare with me
And the wind did howl
and the wind did blow

La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
NICK CAVE:
I can’t get down and I won’t get down
And stay all night with thee
For the girl I have in that merry green land
I love far better than thee
And the wind did howl
and the wind did blow

La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
She leaned herself against a fence
Just for a kiss or two
And with a little pen-knife
held in her hand
She plugged him through and through
And the wind did roar and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
PJ HARVEY:
Come take him by his lily-white hands
Come take him by his feet
And throw him in this deep deep well
That’s more than one hundred feet
And the wind did howl
and the wind did blow

La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
Lie there, lie there, little Henry Lee
Till the flesh drops from your bones
For the girl you have in that merry green land
Can wait forever for you to come home
And the wind did howl
and the wind did moan

La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
traduzione italiano*
PJ HARVEY:
“Scendi, scendi giù,
piccolo Henry Lee,
e resta tutta la notte con me
non troverai una ragazza in questo dannato mondo,/ che sia pari a me”
e il vento urlava
e il vento soffiava

lallalalalà
lallalalalì
un uccellino si posò su Henry Lee
NICK CAVE:
“No, non posso scendere e non voglio scendere giù/per restare la notte con te
perché la ragazza che ho in quelle belle terre verdi/la amo molto più di te”
e il vento urlava
e il vento soffiava

lallalalalà
lallalalalì
un uccellino si posò su Henry Lee
Si appoggiò contro lo steccato
solo per qualche bacio
e con il piccolo stiletto
stretto nella mano
lo colpì più e più volte
e il vento ruggiva e il vento gemeva
lallalalalà
lallalalalì
un uccellino si posò su Henry Lee
PJ HARVEY:
“Venite e afferratelo per le mani bianco-giglio
venite e afferratelo per i piedi
e buttatelo in quel pozzo profondo
profondo più di cento piedi”
e il vento urlava
e il vento soffiava

lallalalalà
lallalalalì
un uccellino si posò su Henry Lee
“Resta là, resta là piccolo Henry Lee,
finchè la carne si staccherà dalle ossa
perchè la ragazza che hai in quelle terre verdi
aspetterà in eterno il tuo ritorno a casa”
e il vento urlava
e il vento gemeva

lallalalalà
lallalalalì
un uccellino si posò su Henry Lee

(* rielaborata da  qui)

LINK
https://singout.org/2012/01/16/young-hunting-henry-lee-love-henry/
http://www.ondarock.it/speciali/murderballad.htm
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=ChildRef_68
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/scott/lord_william.htm
https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/C068.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/tony.rose/songs/younghunting.html
http://www.maggiesfarm.it/ttt359.htm
http://www.nickcave.it/
http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/RmOlSngs/RTOS-HenryLee.html
http://theanthologyofamericanfolkmusic.blogspot.it/2009/10/henry-lee-dick-justice.html

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=12132
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=69167